Juneteenth Message to All Goldman Sachs People
The following is a transcript of an audio message sent to all Goldman Sachs people last night by David M. Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. An audio of the message can be found below.
Tomorrow, Friday, June 19th, marks the 155th anniversary of the day on which enslaved Blacks in Texas woke up to news that the American Civil War had recently come to an end, and that they were free citizens of the state, and of the united country.
Known as Juneteenth Independence Day, or sometimes Freedom Day, this historic moment was a fulfillment of the Emancipation Proclamation, declared by President Abraham Lincoln over two years earlier, in 1863, amidst the height of the conflict. Since then, this date has become widely celebrated as a milestone in the journey for civil rights.
Today, as we live through this chapter in our nation’s history, the likes of which we have not seen since Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1960’s, it is especially important that we recognize the fundamental values, rights, and freedoms symbolized by Juneteenth, and to ensure that we are, in turn, honoring these principles at Goldman Sachs.
To that end, on the eve of this pivotal day for equality and the promise of freedom, we would like to remind our people – all of you – of the firm’s effort to do its part to promote a society, and a world, in which prejudice of any kind is categorically disavowed, and discrimination is relegated to a senseless stain on humanity.
Last week, amidst this multi-racial and multi-generational call for social change, Goldman Sachs announced a $10 million commitment to support racial equity. This builds upon over $200 million that has been granted by GS Gives over the last decade to communities of color. To ensure we make the greatest impact, we have structured our investment going forward based on four pillars:
1. Advancing economic progress;
2. Promoting legal and criminal justice reform;
3. Fueling social change, and;
4. Fostering educational opportunities.
Importantly, as with our other impacting investments dependent on teamwork, such as 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses, we will look to partner with like-minded organizations over the next two to three years, and build strong and lasting relationships in this global social movement. Corresponding with Juneteenth, I am pleased to announce that, tomorrow, we are dispersing the first tranche of the support to our core group of program partners.
I am also calling on all of our diversity committees and inclusion communities globally, and our many affiliation networks to assist me, the broader leadership, and the firm, in accelerating our journey in attracting and developing a workforce that is as diverse in its composition, backgrounds and experiences as it is rich in differing perspectives and insights.
We have focused on these efforts as an institution, but it is clear, we have not accomplished enough. To that end, I personally commit to all of you that we will redouble our efforts going forward. We must – and we will – do the hard work necessary to make meaningful and sustainable progress. Thank you.
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Making Progress Towards Racial Equity
At Goldman Sachs, we have long been committed to promoting inclusion, diversity, and equity. Yet there is more to be done.