After the brutal killing of George Floyd, we at FINCA International could not remain silent and posted FINCA’s Statement of Solidarity. As an organization founded on the principles of opportunity and inclusion for all, we felt a moral obligation to speak out against violent acts of hatred and injustice against Black people, as well as reaffirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion within our own workplace.
Our Statement of Solidarity highlights various aspects within FINCA’s larger diversity and inclusion agenda. Since publishing our Statement of Solidarity, we took a look internally by engaging with our board and all members of FINCA’s staff to see where and how we can grow as an organization to become a more inclusive workspace.
Read on to learn about some of the internal steps we as a team have been taking to further our commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Shortly after we released our Statement of Solidarity in June, FINCA announced that Juneteenth would be a paid annual holiday for its US staff. Celebrated every year on June 19th, this holiday marks the day in 1865 when a Union general arrived in Texas to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the civil war had ended. Making this day an official holiday not only provides staff with the opportunity to celebrate it appropriately, but it marks a cultural shift in how we view this important day in US history and its prevalence in the present day.
In July, FINCA initiated a conversation about how we could promote social justice through all of our communications. We understand that how we say things can be as significant as what we say, and we wanted to make sure our external communications were providing positive and accurate narratives for all of the people we mention. This led us to form a task force not only identifying areas within our communications to improve, but also within our organization as a whole. So far, the task force has begun to make our website and other forms of communication more inclusive, to highlight individual staff members and what makes them a unique addition to the FINCA team, as well as keeping our commitment to diversity and inclusion on the communications agenda.
Starting in August, FINCA rolled out an Anti-Racism Presentation Series for all US staff. This idea was developed by two staff members, who were then supported by FINCA to carry out the presentations and encouraged to use FINCA’s internal platform to discuss these important issues. Taking place over the course of four months, the series will be both educational and serve as an outlet for staff to express themselves. The goal is to provide a space for open conversation about race, racism and current events. Staff will engage in an interactive townhall and exercises that showcase how racism and discrimination are born and spread. The series will also enable staff to share (anonymously if desired) their own encounters with racism and discrimination.
With the continued events of police brutality and other acts of violence against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities, it is clear that there is still much work to be done in the fight for equality and justice within the US. However, we can move the needle on this crucial goal when all of us—individuals and organizations alike—look inward at what we can do to make meaningful changes within our own day-to-day lives. For that reason, FINCA is committed to developing a more inclusive work culture and keeping this topic on the agenda.
This will not be the last you hear from us on our commitment to diversity and inclusion.