July 2020: Starting Thoughts

A Call to Rebuild Together

A seismic shift happened in this country when people watched the video of George Floyd’s death. The visual evidence of a police officer so casually taking the life of this man was intensely disturbing.

This isn’t an isolated event—nor is it new.

The United States is like a house built such that Black, Indigenous people, and people of color (despite being the builders) were never meant to live inside, and the systems were designed to ensure that—historically making us fight harder for rights, land, and wealth, among other things. The system is not broken; the system is working the way it was designed.

But now, we can all work together to rebuild this house such that we can all live inside, and redesign our structures and system so that we can all thrive. And we can start with eradicating systemic racism in this profession.

Keith Beverly, CFA, CFP®, and Kamila McDonnough, CFP®, discuss the issues you should be prepared to address to begin to do that work. And Dasarte Yarnway, the owner of an RIA firm and CFP® designation candidate, writes in a powerful piece about how what happened to George Floyd could very well have happened to him.

“Being in this skin, there is no level of exceptionalism that can save you,” writes Yarnway.

When our Black colleagues talk or write about their realities in the profession and life, let’s not get defensive because of discomfort. Let’s just stop and listen.

Victoria Alexander, a racial equity researcher and educator, recommends unlearning and relearning through literature. She put together a list of books and resources to do that at tinyurl.com/antiracistresourceguide.

It’s also incredibly important we address unchecked implicit bias, which is impacting our chance for a truly inclusive profession. Make an investment in credible implicit bias training for you and your staff. Many businesses—large and small—are releasing statements and donating money. These are good places to start. But now, it’s time to start rebuilding.

Ana Trujillo Limón
Senior Editor