I continue to grieve for the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless other victims of racism. I understand the outrage that followed these senseless acts and fully support the right and need to peacefully protest. However, the violence we’ve seen in some cities over the past two nights has no place in our society and threatens to undermine the message of harmony and reconciliation that we need today more than ever. Here is a transcription of a voice message I sent to our Goldman Sachs people Thursday night:
I continue to hope that you and your families are faring well during these extraordinary times. I remain so grateful for what you’re all doing to collectively help Goldman Sachs navigate through this global pandemic.
Without question, living in various states of quarantine takes a toll on all of us in different ways and I know it’s not easy for any of us.
We have – appropriately – been highly focused on how we manage work, how we take care of family and our responsibilities at home; how we juggle new ways to interact in this complicated setting, and how we operate our lives within the necessary government and health guidelines.
As we all have our heads down, focusing on the immediate needs surrounding us, I encourage you to “look up,” to take into account what’s happening around us.
My concern arises from what I am seeing and reading about in terms of the many who are struggling to manage their daily lives during the strain of the pandemic.
But, it also stems from my concern about the recent deeply disturbing acts of hatred, racism and discrimination, and the broader implications of that.
I am disturbed by the increasing anti-Asian sentiment around the world as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic.
And I am horrified by continued attacks against the black community, highlighted most recently in the U.S. with the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, and with what Christian Cooper experienced in Central Park in New York City this past Monday.
I want to remind each of you that as a community – there is no place at Goldman Sachs for racism or discrimination against any group in any form.
I know that acts of inhumanity – against any person or group – have a profound impact on our people; how that manifests in each person is unique and personal to them.
I also know that this is not a time to be silent. I know it in my gut – and I know it from many of you who have reached out – the many of you for whom these types of words and deeds are particularly and personally painful.
So I am asking all of you – even with everything you are going through and everything you are doing – to “look up” and acknowledge what is happening around us. I want you to check in with each other, and be willing to have conversations that may take us outside of our comfort zone.
We will not let this pandemic erode our culture of openness and respect. To guard against that, we must continue to be aware of what is happening, speak out against injustices and be willing to talk candidly in an environment of honest dialogue.
Importantly, our ability to excel as a globally interconnected work force must be buttressed by a collective sense of purpose and our shared values as a community.
For my part, I continue to stand with all of you in supporting our broad COVID-19 relief efforts which are helping to improve the lives of so many around the world.
Originally published on LinkedIn.com