On June 17, 2020 Norie Campbell, Group Head and Chair IDLC (Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council) shared the following important message with TD colleagues about the additional ways TD is helping address the impacts of anti-Black racism. Naki Osutei and Shelley Sylva, who lead our Community Impact Teams in both Canada and the U.S., provide additional context in an informative interview that we encourage you to read.
By Norie Campbell
Group Head and Chair IDLC (Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council)
TD Bank Group
Over the past few weeks, in emails, calls and town halls, it has been truly inspiring to read and hear the voices of our colleagues, raised both in outrage at what we are witnessing as well to express your desire to fight anti-Black racism and make a lasting impact on society. This speaks volumes about our culture of caring and our deep commitment to being a purpose-driven Bank.
Earlier this month, following Bharat’s email to you, I wrote to outline initial actions being taken by the Inclusion and Diversity Leadership Council (IDLC) over the coming weeks. The conversation sparked across the Bank will continue and, as we advance, we will introduce additional measures to combat racism, support the development of diverse groups, and build a future in which everyone can thrive.Today, I’d like to provide an update on some additional efforts by the Bank.
$4-million allocated to initiatives and organizations that are addressing impacts of anti-Black racism
TD has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion and we are proud to serve a diverse population across more than 2,500 communities in Canada and the Eastern United States. We will continue to support organizations on the ground and in those communities that are making a difference. In some cases, we are reinforcing our existing relationships with additional funding, in others, forming new ones to advance specific goals such as increasing Black leadership and business opportunities.
In all cases, we are supporting Black-led and Black-focused organizations driving initiatives that will directly benefit Black communities we serve. In Canada, for example, we are working together with the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals, the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and the Canadian Association of Black Journalists to help address anti-Black racism and create lasting change in society. This includes, advancing Black representation and supporting the development and advancement of Black talent in key professions.
These efforts, among others, are fundamental to helping to promote a fair and just society. It is our responsibility, as one of Canada's largest corporations, to help open new opportunity and level an uneven playing field.In the U.S., our focus is on direct support for organizations that are addressing important issues in Black communities related to COVID-19.
The current economic challenges have disproportionately impacted Black communities and we want to be there at a time of acute need. For example, we are providing direct financial support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), such as Delaware State University and Lincoln University. Students at these and other institutions have seen campus jobs dry up, part-time work impacted, and even their on-campus housing affected.
We are also supporting the Black Doctor COVID-19 Consortium, a Philadelphia-based initiative created by a volunteer group of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who offer mobile COVID-19 testing solutions to better reach vulnerable populations.
The work this group is doing is truly inspiring. The funding announced today will not change the world overnight, but it will help to reduce some of the direct impacts of anti-Black racism. Naki Osutei and Shelley Sylva, who lead our Community Impact Teams in both Canada and the U.S., were instrumental in selecting the organizations noted above. They provide additional context in an informative interview that I encourage you to read.
Supporting Black Artists
We know that art has the power to inspire, connect and enlighten. Therefore, in addition to the funding announced above, TD will extend its existing investments in emerging, mid-career and established Black artists and will share their work and the stories behind them with our customers, colleagues and the broader community.For example, our premises at One Vanderbilt Place will feature key art acquisitions from Black artists that reflect the diversity of New York City and the Five Boroughs. In Canada, TD will be the sponsor of Canadian Art magazine's first-ever edition that will exclusively feature artists and writers who identify as Black Canadian.
Keep the conversation going
We will have more to share in the weeks and months ahead, and we will continue to engage with you in various forums and through multiple conversations. Combating racism and discrimination and promoting a fair, inclusive and just world where all can thrive are values that we all share at TD. Together, we can and will make a difference.