As you have heard from our founder and Chairman, William D. Johnston, making progress on elimination of institutional racism is indeed hard work and Greenleaf Trust in values, mission and deed is committed to that essential progress. There cannot be any distance between the values we express and our actions as a collective company. We acknowledge that our work is not done nor will it ever be. That said, I think it’s important for you to know how we are taking action to change the situation for the better in our anti-racism journey.

We could not be prouder that the Greenleaf Trust Scholarship at the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University turned twenty-one years old this year. Our founder and chairman started the scholarship after becoming discouraged to find there was a lack of representation from minority students graduating from Western Michigan University with a degree in finance. We are pleased that our scholarship program has supported 79 scholars since its inception. We now have twelve students of color per year enrolled in the scholarship program resulting in three internships per year at Greenleaf Trust. With our continued growth, we are committed to annually offering employment to at least one scholar that results in employment at Greenleaf Trust.

Our Diversity and Inclusion Team formally began its work two years ago as part of our long-term strategic plan. Their vision of actively working to become an anti-racist organization that fully supports diversity and inclusivity at all levels is shared by all of Greenleaf Trust. Their mission is to cultivate a culture of diversity and inclusivity through hiring, awareness, education, and training opportunities for our team members, clients and communities. As part of our efforts, all Greenleaf team members are being offered fully funded training through Eliminating Racism & Creating/Celebrating Equity (ERACCE), a non-profit organization founded in 2000 to eliminate structural racism and create a network of equitable Antiracist institutions and communities. Greenleaf Trust started our training with ERACCE in 2018, with the highest levels of leadership at Greenleaf Trust attending in 2019. Our learning and development continues with robust introspective leadership team discussions guided by the Diversity and Inclusion Team through books including White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

Our journey as a company to assure that we have a diverse workforce is a commitment by ownership, our Board of Directors, our leadership team, and our team members. Currently our teammates of color represents 13% of our workforce. Our efforts to do better include partnering with the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) and other diversity focused organizations to post positions and network for candidates. Our team is also working purposely to present a diverse candidate pool for each open position and reviewing our job descriptions/postings for unintended bias.

In summary, we are continually examining all areas of our organization, including employment practices; policies and procedures; training and education; communication; and workplace culture, to ensure we are upholding anti-racist, diverse, and inclusive values. It is important that our team members feel empowered to bring their authentic selves to work every day and we have the grit to do better.