Passive support isn’t enough
UPDATE (December 10, 2020): Six months ago, Brighton Jones CEO Jon Jones shared the letter below with our community about confronting racial injustice in society. As a company, Brighton Jones pledged to take an active role to expand our vision of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and to chart a proactive path toward being antiracist.
While we are still learning more about what this means every day, we wanted to update you on our progress with the commitments we made.
Providing immediate financial support to organizations that have been on the frontlines of these issues for years
Our philanthropy department worked with each of our offices to select an organization that was doing work on racial justice and reflected the values of that office’s employees and clients. We then doubled the amount that the office committed. The selected organizations were:
- Black Family and Child Services of Arizona
- Black Parent Initiative
- CHOOSE 180
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Got Green
- Urban League of Portland
Additionally, we plan to conduct a retrospective on our giving to assess how we have historically supported racial justice efforts, and how we can do better moving forward.
Launching a Community Impact Circle focused on anti-racism so as a community we can learn together, amplify new voices, and donate to organizations making a positive difference
Last month, we launched our Racial Justice Community Impact Circle, comprised of 15 clients who are spending the next year together to learn about systemic racism, the role of race in our culture, and organizations working on issues ranging from environmental justice to criminal justice reform. Clients not in the circle will be able to benefit from our learnings as we will create a shareable resource list, and report back on the organizations and leaders we meet along the way.
Educating our colleagues on systemic racism and privilege dynamics so we can be better listeners and foster productive conversations with friends, family, and our community
In October, we held the first meeting of our JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) committee, which includes more than 40 employees working to educate our colleagues and take proactive steps to change racist dynamics in our field.
Our committee identified four objectives, ranging from increasing access for communities traditionally underserved by financial services to employing a team that reflects the diverse backgrounds of our current and prospective clients.
By Jon Jones
Nothing I could ever write would adequately capture the amount of pain our country is experiencing right now. I’m only now beginning to know what I don’t know. Yet, even when our words fail us, we can listen, learn, and drive lasting change.
The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others before them reveal the deeply ingrained racial prejudice and injustice in our society. Every day, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) experience racism, bigotry, and unequal treatment in many different forms. When you add the fact that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted BIPOC, it should be no surprise that our awareness of these issues has hit a boiling point. We can’t stay silent.
At Brighton Jones, our mission is to help our clients, colleagues, and the global community live a richer life. We have intentionally made compassion the foundational pillar of our culture, and now it is time for us to double down on that commitment.
As a company, we embrace the opportunity to be a part of an expanded vision of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Working to create a culture of psychological safety means ensuring that we are an actively anti-racist organization. Passive support isn’t enough.
While we realize we have so much to learn, here are the actions we are committing to today:
- Providing immediate financial support to organizations that have been on the frontlines of these issues for years.
- Launching a Community Impact Circle focused on anti-racism so as a community we can learn together, amplify new voices, and donate to organizations making a positive difference.
- Educating our colleagues on systemic racism and privilege dynamics so we can be better listeners and foster productive conversations with friends, family, and our community.
We are here to listen and to learn from all of you. I invite anyone reading this message to send me your ideas for work we can do as an organization. We don’t have the answers right now, but we know that we need each of your voices to build a more just society.
Compassion is a verb. Black Lives Matter.
Jon Jones is the CEO and co-founder of Brighton Jones.
This post was originally published on June 4, 2020.