The United States today is a product of racist, oppressive systems. American systems of justice, education, banking, social services, and medicine, to name just a few, deny opportunity and do violence to people of color.
This is an ugly legacy and an enduring reality. Denying it does not make it untrue – it only serves to perpetuate it.
Juneteenth offers the opportunity to honor the courageous leadership of people of color who breathe life into American democracy. Freedom is won, not given, Jamelle Bouie explains in describing how enslaved people freed themselves. Black protest against police violence is “the highest form of patriotism”, as Lonnie Bunch explains to Adam Serwer. And Dominique Jackson reminds us that respect for transgender people of color is not anyone’s to give: “You will not tell me that you tolerate me. That is not your power. I take that from you. You will respect me for who I am.”
In our effort to be an ally to all those working for justice, we are continually learning what effective antiracism requires of us. We believe our first job is to reconcile ourselves to the truth of systemic racism, our complicity in it, and our responsibility to change it.
A year ago, Redstone launched intensive work on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). While that work is ongoing and unfinished, we are committed to becoming a firm that embodies the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion and puts those principles into action to achieve greater social impact and advance equity.
Our pursuit of this goal requires us to be rigorously honest about our firm and our progress. We’re not yet satisfied, and we invite accountability and partnership on our journey. Our antiracism and DEI work begins within our organization, so in a spirit of learning and inquiry, we want to share some of our commitments as a firm:
- We are adopting measurable DEI outcomes that cover recruiting, retention and promotion, culture, and client and social impact
- We are launching affinity groups to identify and address times where we fall short and generate options for cultural and institutional change
- We will integrate DEI practices and approaches into our reviews of our colleagues, including upward feedback
- We are increasing investment in initiatives to recruit and support more diverse staff at all levels in the firm
- We will continue to provide dedicated time to our cross-firm DEI working group as they set our DEI agenda and help design programs and policies
- We will continue to engage outside coaches and mentors to support colleagues at all levels in their antiracism and anti-oppression work
In addition to the internal work we have planned, we will also center race in our client work, pushing ourselves and the leaders we serve to explicitly consider racial justice and empower communities of color. In doing so, we will elevate the voices of people of color who have led antiracism, anti-oppression, and equity efforts for generations, and we look forward to continuing this urgent work together.
Redstone Strategy Group