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Letter From Our CEO: Doing What's Right As We Travel The Long Road To Change
June 10, 2020
Together we will take immediate action – and invest in long-term change – to help address racism, discrimination and economic insecurity.
At Thrivent we believe humanity thrives when people make the most of all God has given them. Yet the ability to thrive is fundamentally hindered for those who disproportionately face systemic inequities, racism and discrimination due to the color of their skin.
As we continue to grapple with the tragic killing of George Floyd and the resulting anger, frustration and sorrow in our communities, we know that what happened not only to Mr. Floyd, but many before him, calls for real change.
The issue is so deeply rooted that there is not one answer, one remedy or one solution. Bringing meaningful change to these problems will, at the very least, take deep soul-searching and personal growth from people and institutions. It will require investing in, and supporting, one another for Thrivent to be inclusive and diverse with abundant and equitable opportunities for all.
As an organization, we will change from within. We will seek, identify and hire diverse talent that clearly reflects the communities in which we operate and serve. We understand that Black, Indigenous, and people of color receive disproportionately less mentorship, growth opportunities and advancement in the American workplace. We will ensure this is not the case at Thrivent, and we will hold our leaders accountable to this mission.
Real change takes time and an unwavering commitment to doing what’s right. We must listen, learn and act to create a better way forward. As a first step, we are creating an integrated community response, investing $3 million in community action, in pursuit of long-term systemic change.
Given Thrivent’s role as a purpose-driven financial services organization, we are particularly called upon to acknowledge and address the economic disparities that set families and communities back for generations. We are working with other organizations, including the Center for Economic Inclusion and minority-owned small businesses, to begin an integrated response from our workforce, our clients and partners in communities to focus on tackling the systemic discrimination faced by many Black, Indigenous and people of color that contributes to disproportionate long-term disadvantages.
We will follow a three-pronged approach:
- Invest in community action. We will join with other companies and community organizations to take meaningful collective action against racism and economic insecurity in the Twin Cities.
- Inspire generosity. We will help inspire, support and mobilize local action to meet the unique needs of impacted communities across the U.S. We will begin in the Twin Cities with an approach we plan to deploy in other communities.
- Do what is right. We know that to truly address systemic issues, we need to make long-term commitments and investments to make sure we, as a company and community, are doing our part. As such, we are committing to: investing resources to fund initiatives that are addressing some of the underlying inequities faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color; and beginning a journey (that has no single end point) of relentless self-examination, learning and adaptive response that will be reflected in our policies and practices. This is a long-term effort and not a one-time “project”; it is a strategic commitment to be and do better.
We know our clients, financial professionals and workforce come to Thrivent because we are driven by a higher purpose at our core. We’ve heard from many of you in the last week that you are ready – this is our time to act upon this purpose.
All of us – regardless of race, faith, political ideology, culture or other beliefs, and recognizing our own privilege – must step back and seriously reflect on these tragedies and their underlying causes. We need to then be willing to act and make real personal and systemic changes so that we can finally put an end to the disproportionate brutality, inequity and discrimination faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color across the country.
President and CEO