Black Lives Matter
June 10, 2020
Recent months have cast a long shadow as the pandemic continues its deadly toll on the nation. Amid such anguish, the images of Black Americans treated without humanity – and in some cases, brutalized in the final moments of their lives – has triggered in many of us a range of emotions including grief, despair, and righteous anger.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery’s deaths follow a pattern of racial injustice that has become all too familiar in our country. They coincide with the harassment of Christian Cooper in Central Park, an incident that demonstrated how easily a racist complaint could put an African American man in grave danger. And the pandemic itself has killed people of color at disproportionate rates, further amplifying disparities, including access to healthcare. Persistent, deep-rooted histories of intolerance, discrimination, marginalization, and bigotry directly and personally affect the lives of millions of people in this nation every day. Black people continue to live in fear for themselves, their children, and their communities, and in many cases, in fear of the very systems that are supposed to ensure safety and justice.
Though we experience and live with the pain of these tragedies differently, we all have a responsibility to advance justice, equality, peace, and understanding.
When our sense of community is shaken, we must remember that we are connected in more ways than we are divided. While there is much work to be done to create fundamental, consequential, and absolute change, the journey begins by listening to each other with compassion and empathy.
At Eckert Seamans, we embrace our responsibility to make sure everyone at our firm feels supported every day. We have always believed inclusion and communication are the keys to ensuring every voice has the opportunity to be heard. And while conversation is important, real solutions require action in our daily thoughts and in our spheres of influence. We must undertake, support, encourage, and facilitate intentional and targeted work to better understand these issues and devise practical solutions.
The firm plans to answer the call to action by starting with the following steps:
- The firm will strengthen existing relationships with community-based organizations that serve members of the Black community including the National Urban League.
- The firm will donate to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
- The firm’s Chief Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Officer, Manager of Employee Relations and Inclusion, and Director of Human Resources will develop and provide firm-wide educational programming focused on supporting racial diversity and inclusion.
- The firm will engage in a dialogue with clients to examine our corporate cultures and the promotion of diversity and inclusion, and seek opportunities to work together on initiatives that support the Black community.
Eckert Seamans is a community that rejects all acts of racism, forms of discrimination, and violence. We believe that Black Lives Matter, and therefore, we must continue to demand equality and justice for all people, including African Americans and members of the Black community, and to care for and support each other, especially in this time when we are physically apart.
In looking forward to the work we have ahead of us, we wish you peace and strength.