Capalino makes this statement as a unified team. Black Lives Matter! Individually, and as a firm whose focus is on achieving success for our clients in urban settings, we have always been committed through our work and volunteerism to making our City and communities a better place. We are anguished and saddened and more determined than ever to play our part in ending systematic racism in our nation. Too many people of color and oppressed people – among them, religious minorities, Immigrants, Women, LGBTQ, Native Americans, the disabled – had their lives cut short or been deprived of exercising their constitutional right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Demetrius Wright, Daniel T. Prude, Deborah Danner, Ma’Khia Bryant, and Adam Toledo were just some of the beautiful souls that were taken from this world too soon. As we watch the peaceful protests here and abroad, we are reminded of the extraordinary courage by so many individuals and organizations in our history, our firm intends to become better partners and advocates in the fight for equity and justice. We are hopeful and confident that fair change will come.
We believe that as a people, our promise and potential is stunted as a result of racism and oppression. We believe that the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the economic, health and social disparities that black and brown communities face and further necessitates the need for change. We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protestors and communities that have experienced centuries of oppression and who are pleading to have their voices heard and for oppressive policies to be changed. These are obvious commitments to make and commitments reflected in our corporate values and charitable efforts. Ultimately, however, actions speak louder than words and we are committed to implementing a plan of action that guides our work and empowers us collectively and as individuals to pursue meaningful social change. Over the last few days, we have been engaged in powerful, thoughtful and uncomfortable conversations about how to achieve this. While our plan of action will always be a work in progress, we are committed to advocating that change.
There are some basic steps our firm will implement:
(1) Criminal Justice Reform – Capalino will utilize our talents and knowledge to advocate for criminal justice reforms including the repeal of Civil Rights Law 50-a which prohibits access to personnel and misconduct records of police officers. There are many dedicated and respectful police officers and we honor the work they do every day. However, we must create a better system that promotes transparency and an alignment of interests for all stakeholders. Law enforcement officers – like everyone else – must be held accountable for their misconduct. We will set up an internal task force to fight for reform and partner and support organizations who are already on the frontlines.
(2) Social Action Leave – While Capalino employees have deep roots and commitments to their respective communities, we will develop a more intentional policy that further supports our employees to pursue social justice activities that are important to them.
(3) Training + Employee Handbook Update – Our firm believes in Anti-racism as part of our corporate culture and that is why we are creating an internal Anti-racism training program that is consistent and pervasive. We are proud of the fact that we have a diverse staff but will undertake a review of our employee handbook to ensure that our practices and policies make people of color feel supported, safe and continue to play a major role in company decision-making. We will also enact policies that ensure all employees feel free to speak out about any mistreatment in the workplace and ensure Anti-racism efforts become a component of employee evaluations.
(4) Client Review – Capalino currently has a diligent process to determine if a client engagement aligns with our corporate values and we will make sure the work we do is reviewed through an Anti-racism lens.
(5) Pro Bono Work – Capalino provides pro bono guidance to many causes. In the coming weeks, we will announce an expansion of that work with specific focus on supporting organizations that fight systemic racism.
It is our intention to make an enduring difference and we invite our readers to join us in this journey and take stock of their policies, practices and positions to consider how they and their organizations can support racial justice.
Join us in making New York Stronger and Better Together!