“The American people have this to learn: that where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither person nor property is safe.”
– Frederick Douglass
At the Law Offices of Bradford & Barthel LLP, we felt the need to add our voice to the many already out there decrying the heinous act that took the life of George Floyd. We share our deep sorrow with his family, friends and community. We mourn with them. Their loss is our loss. We are outraged that this could have happened. We are doubly outraged that such an act could have happened under the color of authority. We are saddened that this is not an isolated event. We add our voice to the many that state things must change.
We must challenge the status quo and check to see if we are blinded by our privileges. Can we open our eyes and see the plight of our neighbors? Once we see the inequity that abounds can we not act? We can act. We will act. We must act.
Mother Theresa worked in some of the worst slums in the world helping the poorest of the poor. She was once asked how she could do her work when she was just a drop in the ocean of pain and misery. She responded by saying, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” She went on to change the world and we can too. One drop at a time.
We need to act. We need to act where we are and with what we can do. We need to lift where we stand. We need to make sure our actions, choices and thoughts are good.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bradford & Barthel has always celebrated diversity. Diversity has helped make us the successful firm we are today. We are dedicated to the power of diversity. We have it written in our mission statement since the very beginning, which says:
“Recognizing that our people make the difference and are our most important resource, we dedicate ourselves to continually attracting, developing and retaining exceptional and diverse professionals. Bradford & Barthel, LLP, pledges to encourage every employee to develop his/her full potential and, in turn, promises to acknowledge each individual’s unique contributions, via a collegial, ethical working environment and a highly competitive compensation and benefit program.”
In order to take this dedication even further and to continually take action to make us better, the firm has created a position to watch over the firm and make sure we always take these issues into account.
We are happy to announce that Farai Alves, a senior equity partner at the Oakland office, has agreed to take on the position of Chief Diversity Officer. She will be reaching out to people throughout the firm for suggestions, ideas and help. With firmwide input we can make ongoing and continual changes that will make a great firm even better.
“Hate is too great a burden to bear. I have decided to love.”
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
B&B Personnel Handbook
Our firm has always committed to a strong stance against harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, gender, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age, sexual orientation or any other basis protected by Federal, State or local law or ordinance or regulation. All such harassment is unlawful and we simply will not stand for it.
You may be wondering how you can make a difference in the grand scheme of things. We believe part of meeting that challenge is to endeavor to be there for those in your circle.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” as the saying goes, and love your neighbor as yourself.
If each and everyone of us touches our neighbor, lifts where we stand, we can be those drops in the ocean that will raise the whole world to a better place. Reach out to serve someone of a different background or race. Get to know them. Get to love our neighbors. Everyone can do something.
“Unitedly we declare that the answers to racism, prejudice, discrimination and hate will not come from government or law enforcement alone. Solutions will come as we open our hearts to those whose lives are different than our own, as we work to build bonds of genuine friendship, and as we see each other as the brothers and sisters we are — for we are all children of a loving God.”
– President Russell M. Nelson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO, Leon Russell, NAACP Chairman of the Board, The Reverend Amos C. Brown, Chairman Emeritus of Religious Affairs, NAACP
A cataclysm is a sudden violent upheaval. We have already had two this year and we are only in June. While you would never wish for a cataclysm to occur, when it does happen you have two choices. You can either let the violence make you hard, bitter and angry, or you can choose to make a positive change and increase in love for each other. We can’t bring back all those who have died due to the pandemic, but we can choose to be more prepared for next time and help those around us be better prepared.
We can’t change what happened to George Floyd, but we can choose to never let it happen again. We can choose not to remain silent. We can choose to act, to change and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Mark S. Fletcher is the statewide executive managing partner at The Law Offices of Bradford and Barthel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (559) 442-3602.
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