Like many of you, I watched the Inauguration Day ceremony on Wednesday with a mixture of emotions, from sadness about the events of the past two weeks to hope that brighter days are ahead. The country is at a very sensitive juncture. An impeachment trial may be looming, the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage, and our economy needs a major reboot, with millions of Americans out of work and hundreds of thousands of businesses now closed. Not to mention we still have a long way to go when it comes to racial justice – although the election of our first black, Asian-American woman vice president is certainly an historic first step on the path forward.
The coming days and weeks are going to be critical in setting the tone for the next four years, and I came away from watching the inauguration optimistic that we will be able to heal some of the rifts that brought us to the precipice. President Biden laid out a very clear roadmap for what’s ahead, and it’s one that many of us can agree on – getting people back to work, teaching children in safe schools, overcoming the virus, rewarding work, rebuilding the middle class, making healthcare secure, and working toward racial justice. At its heart is preserving Democracy and finding unity. The only way back from the dangerous place we reached is treating each other with respect and dignity. We’re all Americans, and we’re all in this together. Every human being is important and has value. Hopefully the new President, who spent many years in the Senate himself, can find a way back to building bridges and consensus with Congress.
This is why it is more important than ever for business leaders to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and why Marcum’s focus on DEI has continued to evolve and expand as a strategic priority for the Firm. We recently named our first DEI director, expanding our original Diversity & Inclusion program to encompass equity as well. Without equity, without the opportunity for everyone to be a stakeholder, all the well-meaning programs in the world won’t affect true change.
Fortunately, there are many opportunities for all of us to bring about that change. As National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman put it during the inauguration ceremony, “For there is always light, if we’re only brave enough to see it. If we’re only brave enough to be it.”
Stay safe, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together.