When people come together not just to talk, but to listen, real connection happens. These connections are what make progress possible. As the CEO of our firm, I have the incredible opportunity to hire, develop and empower our leaders to be a part of creating a firm that prioritizes these relationships. We made a commitment last fall not just to talk about inclusion, but to do something about it. It is core to who we are and what we stand for.
To make this more than just words, requires action. On the eve of Juneteenth Lucas Group hosted our first ever Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion panel and our second internal panel lead by and made up of our people. In front of their colleagues six of our associates gathered to talk about what it means to include people of all races, sexualities, genders, abilities, ages, and backgrounds. These panelists shared their stories of trial and hope, exclusion and progress, and pain and belonging. From the over 70% of our company that was listening, there were shouts of encouragement, acknowledgment of mistakes made and support for continued conversation.
We all walked away from this panel better for having listened. We all walked away connected to each other in a new way. In a way that will start more conversations with curiosity and end them with questions about how to be better. No one on the panel had all the answers but collectively their experiences and stories created a solid foundation for knowing and understanding.
So where do we go from here? We continue to move forward. We continue to listen. We continue to connect one conversation at time. We make the commitment to ourselves and each other to strive to break old habits, use new words and find better understanding of what could and should be.
Inclusion is not a newly paved path with clear signs and turnoffs. It is a climb that will continuously require effort and attention, a commitment of determination to work for a better tomorrow. Did you make a wrong turn? Did you go down a dead end? The bumps along the route will lead you to the ultimate destination – a community where everyone feels they are included in the conversation. We are climbing Mt. Lucas together as we explore our newly established mission, vision, and values. While there are many obstacles we may encounter on our climb, we will work together to summit the mountain. Our vision is To be THE TEAM that transforms lives through meaningful connections. Let’s continue on this noble journey!