Statement from August 19, 2020
As a profession and society, much must be done to create a truly inclusive environment where people of diverse backgrounds are welcomed, supported and encouraged. In previous communications with our members, we shared our heartbreak for what has transpired in recent months and our desire to do our part to ensure our association and the financial planning profession take meaningful action to embrace and lift-up diverse professionals.
While the FPA Diversity and Inclusion Committee has been in place for many years and a multi-year D&I strategy was embraced by the association in 2019, we recognize the need for FPA to demonstrate its commitment to D&I today. And while we are engaged in several activities right now, we will remain focused on listening to learn from our members and stakeholders to shape our efforts in the months and years ahead.
We view our recent actions as essential movement towards making FPA a better association and financial planning a more inclusive profession. Over the past couple of months, we:
- Conducted listening sessions with the FPA Board of Directors, staff leadership, and all D&I-related Knowledge Circles to hear from stakeholders and explore ways to embrace diversity throughout the association. This meaningful dialogue will continue with many Knowledge Circles planning to host similar discussions in the coming weeks and months. FPA leaders and staff will continue to learn from and build on the takeaways from those conversations.
- Started exploring a plan to provide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training to the entire FPA Board of Directors and staff. Once implemented, we intend to expand this training to all FPA volunteers.
- Provided educational sessions and supporting resources to FPA chapter leaders to help our local communities develop and foster greater inclusivity throughout the association.
- Started collaborating with the FPA Annual Conference Task Force to feature D&I thought leaders and host special events to celebrate our diverse membership. We will continue to offer our Diversity Scholarships to recognize those diverse professionals in our ranks.
- Continued our efforts to publish an entire issue of the Journal of Financial Planning dedicated to diversity and inclusion, which will be available this fall.
- Have been embracing diversity and inclusion as an essential consideration in the 2021 FPA Board of Directors candidate selection process.
- Reviewed the association’s internal processes to ensure that FPA is compliant with D&I trends regarding data collection efforts. These efforts will help us educate association stakeholders and elevate the outstanding contributions of our diverse members.
- Began developing D&I content to support members and their desires to build more inclusive practices.
We remain resolute in our commitment to make our association and profession more welcoming and inclusive for all who desire a home in financial planning and those for whom financial planning has not been accessible. We recognize these efforts are just a small step towards accomplishing this goal, but we are wholly vested in this vital work. While we acknowledge that we may have some missteps along the way, FPA remains undeterred from continuing our journey of realizing a better future for FPA, the profession, and our diverse community.
We endeavor to continue listening to learn from our community and ask you to let us know what we can do better to embrace and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at FPA. We will continue to keep you apprised of these vital efforts.
Statement from June 17, 2020
Dear FPA Community,
We are deeply disturbed by the killing of George Floyd and many other similar, senseless tragedies. Our hearts break for each of these victims and their families, and we must come together in solidarity for fundamental human and civil rights. FPA is committed to listening attentively, and we want to be clear and helpful in our words and actions. We unequivocally state that Black lives matter.
Our original statement (below) focused on the need to understand and listen. We now turn to how FPA and its members can move forward with actions. People of color are underrepresented in our profession, limiting the diversity of those who benefit from financial planning. FPA is committed to learning how to better support and serve diverse communities, which is why our Diversity and Inclusion Committee is working to provide community, resources and opportunities for our members of diverse backgrounds. But we must do more.
Here is where we start: listening to understand. As we work to build bridges within the financial planning community and with our clients, it is imperative that each of us seeks to understand and appreciate the diversity of views and human experiences within our ranks and among our fellow citizens whom we seek to serve.
While FPA has a multi-year plan to institutionalize diversity and inclusion, we are also scheduling listening sessions through FPA Knowledge Circles; committing to working more closely with our diverse leaders, members and allies; and better communicating the work of the FPA Diversity and Inclusion Committee so that you can hold us accountable and keep track of our progress.
How can we do better as an association? Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement from June 2, 2020
In these extraordinary times, the Financial Planning Association stands with those in communities across the country who don’t feel heard, respected, embraced or supported. In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about how the financial planning profession needs to be more accessible, supportive and welcoming. To many, that talk hasn’t led to meaningful action. For many minorities, the doors of the profession are still closed. We need to do more to equip those in the majority with the necessary resources to fully embrace the challenges facing minority practitioners today.
We must work to throw open the doors of the profession to build a more supportive, inclusive community that embraces and nurtures professionals of all races, religions, creeds, genders and sexual orientations. Every FPA member is valued. Through FPA, they will find an open community where they can engage in conversation. If you are struggling with how to respond before speaking out, we encourage all financial planners first to listen. Take the time to update your understanding of what is transpiring. Engage minority practitioners to see how you can be of support. But most importantly, take some time and explore how financial planning businesses can take action to make this profession more accessible, supportive and welcoming.
FPA believes this profession can transform lives, but first, we need to build an inclusive community where all practitioners, including those of color, feel welcomed and supported. Until then, our work is not done.