Brandon A. Logan, a CBRE Associate based in San Antonio, Texas, has been named Executive Director of the Doug Williams Center for the Study of Race and Politics in Sport at his alma mater, Grambling State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in Louisiana.
Founded in August, the Center will equip student-athletes, coaches and sports administrators with the tools to be leaders in addressing matters of racial bias, athlete activism, diversity and inclusion and political engagement.
In this in-depth conversation, Brandon shares his journey as a “social entrepreneur,” how he got into real estate, and what he hopes his college coach’s namesake center will achieve.
You describe yourself as a “social entrepreneur guided by a servant’s heart.” What does that mean to you?
Over the past 10 years, I’ve tried to ensure that young people in San Antonio can see themselves in leadership. Having served as the youngest Chairman of the city’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission and as President of the Rotary Club of San Antonio, I can show them what’s possible.
I started Urban Capital Partners (UCP) to establish strategies that would improve the lives of San Antonio’s inner-city youth who were classified as “at risk for academic failure.” UCP’s “Becoming A Better You” after-school leadership program provides academic and social development support for more than 500 kids from nine communities on the East Side, where poverty levels reach 90% or more.
All the work I do to impact minority youth, education and underserved communities—that’s what I call social entrepreneurship. And it’s work that truly comes from the heart.
Why did real estate become part of your plan?
To achieve inclusion, equality and equity, I believe every neighborhood needs stability, and you can promote that through physical space: homes, churches, schools and businesses. So, I got my real estate license and joined REATA Real Estate, a local firm that was acquired by CBRE in 2019.
It’s been a blessing to work in real estate on a larger scale here at CBRE, which gives me a greater opportunity to have a positive impact on my community. Through real estate, I can continue the necessary work to improve underserved communities—to attract more folks, bolster the tax base and generate more revenue to increase school funding.
How did you get involved with the Doug Williams Center for the Study of Race and Politics in Sport and what do you hope to achieve?
Coach Williams and I have stayed in touch since I graduated from Grambling. One day, I got a call from him, and I could tell a pitch was coming. He talked about his vision for the future of the Center and asked me to come aboard as Executive Director.
Like Doug Williams, we will share stories of Black athletes from Grambling, who were also “firsts” in their time. Junious "Buck" Buchanan was the first Black player drafted #1 overall into professional football. Paul “Tank” Younger was the first NFL player from an HBCU and, later, the first Black front-office executive in the NFL.
In leading the Center, I get the chance to tell a diverse, inclusive story through conversations, textbooks and other venues. Right now, we are developing a curriculum in which every participant, from students to decision makers, can see value.
Another focus area will be working with college and professional sports organizations that want to diversify. We’ll partner with these groups to help achieve the diversity they want—from the entry-level to the C-suite. I’m looking forward to establishing a learning platform that helps people realize we’re much better together than apart.