I want to reach out to you about the recent, heartbreaking events in the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities. In addition to acknowledging these events and offering support for all of our people in the wake of this tragedy, I also want to begin a conversation about the increase in bias, racism and violence we are seeing in communities across the country. Yesterday I had an opportunity to meet with many of our firm’s national and regional CDI leaders to hear their valuable perspectives on how to approach this discussion, and I have also been in touch with our Minneapolis leaders, including local CDI leadership.
The tragic death of George Floyd and subsequent events precipitated the meeting, as it brought to the forefront the racism, violence and fear members of our African American community experience. During the meeting, I also heard unsettling stories about other communities, including the significant increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, I heard the pain that all of our CDI leaders feel and that I share—for the victims; for all people who experience bias, inequity and racism; and for how these events are impacting our communities, families and friends. No one should have to live in fear.
At RSM, we believe in the value of every person. Our culture embodies inclusiveness and understanding, and we denounce violence and discrimination of any kind.
Now is not the time to judge—it is the time to listen, to understand and to be empathetic. It is the time to support our colleagues and communities. Many people are hurting as a result of recent violence and the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is important that we lean on our culture, seek to understand each other, demonstrate our core values and show that we care. While we may not always be able to relate to another person’s experiences or feelings, we can listen and be empathetic.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice and corruption will never be transformed by keeping them hidden, but only by bringing them out into the light and confronting them with the power of love.”
If you are looking for support or a place to have candid conversations, our ENGs are places of healing—where people can connect and where the firm’s values are discussed and shared. We also have resources available through our employee assistance programs in the U.S. and Canada.
This is just the beginning of an important conversation that we will continue. If you have any feedback or topics you would like to discuss, I welcome you to reach out to me at any time. I also invite you to join me in keeping all of the recent victims and the communities affected by this senseless violence in your thoughts and prayers.