Statement on antiracism
Statement on antiracism
The words we choose matter.
It’s easy enough to use words; to grasp for relevance in the conversation, to hitch oneself to the phrases everyone else is tossing about. We considered this matter of words and their meaning deeply when we set about to draft our internal policies and public-facing statements around Diversity and Inclusion. Were these words really conveying our values and our hopes for what we might achieve as a company for our global community?
This phrasing — diversity and inclusion — tacitly implies the status quo is the norm. It means “We’re going to let people in.” It means, “Not only will we let people in, but we also will show them they are one of us.”
Who is us?
But who is “us”? We all are “us.” So how does Kaiju, a fund manager in an industry that skews heavily male and heavily white, ensure “us” actually looks like the world? How do we walk alongside communities that have been oppressed and harmed? How do we begin to listen to their perspectives, to avail ourselves of their expertise? And how do we then change ourselves and our culture to enable equity and justice?
Equity, Justice, & Antiracism
Now, it’s certainly without question that we need to strive toward an inclusive society, in a broad, societal sense. However — and this is key — that’s not the goal. Diversity & Inclusion policies are simply tools to help achieve the goals of Equity, Justice, & Antiracism.
It’s easy to say, “We’re going to hire a more diverse group of people” It’s easy to say, “We’re going to make sure all our staff feel included in meetings and events.” In fact, these are things that can be achieved with just the slightest bit of effort.
We know the real work is not easy. The easy stuff may make us look better, but that’s not the goal. This is why we are making a financial, emotional, and public commitment to Equity, Justice, & Antiracism.
Justice is the goal. Equity is how we get there. Antiracism is the value we uphold along the way.
To that end, we have begun a partnership to commit us to doing this long-term, strategic work. We are making a financial commitment to work toward this cultural shift. One of the keys to true antiracism work is transparency. We don’t know what we don’t know, or what has been buried, out of sight. But we are committed to finding out. It is our responsibility. Antiracism is a journey; not a destination. This work is reflective, and it leads to more growth, and more change. This is about using precise language. We know the work is about setting goals, publicly stating them, and then holding ourselves accountable to marginalised communities. We cannot even begin to draft actual policies to address this until we begin doing that work. This is not an easy task. We harbor no illusions that we will never misstep. What we can promise is that when we do misstep, we will listen, learn, and get better.