The murder of George Floyd at the hands of those we expect to protect and serve was reprehensible. It has authored another shameful chapter in our country’s history. Regrettably, the loss of Mr. Floyd and innumerable others that preceded him is symptomatic of the systemic racism that has ailed the black community and resulted in hundreds of years of injustice and mistreatment, from slavery through segregation.
Unfortunately, systemic racism persists in many forms today in the black community. It manifests itself in a number of demonstrable ways – discrimination (housing, financial), inferior education, lack of access to quality healthcare (as seen with the overwhelmingly disproportionate impact of COVID-19), police brutality, racial profiling, voter suppression and economic disparities. Systemic racism engenders hopelessness, and challenges our nation’s founding principle that all people are created equal.
While the choruses of “We can do better!” and “We must be better!” resonate louder and sound resolute enough to effect change, people have uttered these same exclamations for decades. At this tenuous point in our nation’s development, mere words, whether articulated as an individual or as a collective whole, are insufficient. Those that have lived under the weight of racism do not need nor want our sympathy. They deserve empathetic partners that lead with action and courage. Dismissing the plight of black people is apathetic, egregious and irresponsible.
In recognition of our moral and civic responsibility to participate in the eradication of racism in our country, Pinnacle commits to:
- PARTICIPATE in meaningful dialogue about race with our employees, clients, vendors and complementary service providers
- EDUCATE our employees on issues related to racial justice
- SUPPORT employee efforts to address racism
- PARTNER with organizations that support activities to end systemic racism
- STRENGTHEN our current efforts to increase diversity in the actuarial profession
- ENGAGE in initiatives to increase diverse representation in our firm
Pinnacle is establishing a task force to develop specific action items related to the aforementioned commitments. This task force will report directly to our Board of Directors. These are difficult times. However, we believe that these six commitments will contribute to a more equitable and just nation, and are key steps towards a world free from racism.