Our Reflections On Black History Month 

We move forward together

February is Black History Month! February offers us an opportunity to remember and acknowledge our past as well as celebrate the changes we’ve made and look towards our collective future with optimism. There is no doubt that a tremendous amount of change happened in 2020 and we hope that we continue to move forward towards a more open, accepting, and equitable 2021 and beyond.

It is our commitment to continue to listen intentionally, offer support, and take the steps needed to ensure diversity, inclusion and equity within our organization. If you would like to celebrate, we encourage you this month (and every month!) to learn about Black History, support black owned businesses, and amplify black voices.

We're currently at a crossroads. We move forward together, or we get pulled apart. We must ensure that equity is at the center of our future. Our company is committed to the hard work that comes before us to establish a more equitable workforce in our pursuit of a more just world. Are you willing to join us in that effort?

Chris Joffe
Founder & CEO

Our Thoughts On The Capitol Building Devastation 

Securing the long road ahead 

I’ve spent the better part of the pandemic wrestling with the question of what is within and outside of our control. Over and over I have asked, how do we prioritize responding to that which is within our control while coming to terms with what we cannot change? How do we ensure that we spend our time making as much progress as we can on that which we can influence, change, or manage? 

Then, upon watching the footage of the January 6th Capitol events, I asked again. What can we do when we witness political ideology prioritized over our most basic human requirement: to preserve our lives and the lives of those around us? With that in mind, I want to share with you what the Joffe team can control. The following is what I believe our response to these acts of violence can be focused: 

Many know that after the loss of George Floyd, we led a series of conversations about healing, belonging, and valuing human life. We spoke about the reality that in the United States, some lives are valued more than others. But in this company, each life is important. In fact, we’ll go even further: Joffe protects those who aren’t being protected by others. We protect because it’s the right thing to do, not because of a news cycle. When the news cameras drive away and people put away their phones, we’re still hard at work, helping our communities remain safe. The work of safety will likely never stop for us. 

Safety starts with us. Quite literally, we need to first ensure that we are in environments which allow us to be seen, heard, and safe, before we can engage fully in any work. From there, we need to ensure the same is true for those around us. We will prioritize that environment as a foundation upon which all our work can be built. 

We’ll continue an internal dialogue. Within our team we are exploring concrete ways to hear one another, support one another, and protect the lives, health, and safety of each member of our community. Our clients, after all, are not dissimilar to me. I myself am black and white, Jewish and agnostic, adopted and biologically connected. We’ll continue to meet each community where they are and ensure that each community is able to put human life first in times of crisis. We’ll do everything within our power to ensure that lives, hearts, and minds are protected. 

But what else can we do? What happened at the Capitol on January 6th is not OK, and no single statement, including this one, makes it OK. So I challenge us to focus the energy within us to make progress on those things which are within our control. Vote. Protest. Petition. Challenge. Never accept a lack of justice as “just the way it is”. 

I challenge us to rise above the fray when it comes to partisan discussions. Let’s prioritize humanity over party.

I challenge us to listen. While we can often find words of hate, divide, and anger, I believe we can go farther by listening, demonstrating empathy, and partnership. 

I challenge us to sustain. I recognize that there’s an opportunity in this season to take bold, swift, demonstrable action. I don’t discount those who make that choice. I do recognize that at times, short term responses serve more for brand and image than they do for progress. To that end, at Joffe, we will continue this conversation. We will continue this dialogue in a way that enables us to sustain it not for months, but for years. Indeed, we will sustain as long as it takes for real change. 

I challenge us to acknowledge our humanity in this moment. For those who are depleted, recover first. This conversation will persist and you will have an opportunity to engage. 

For those who are angry, listen first. Cooler heads always prevail. 

For those who are broken, heal first. We will be here with you along the way. This conversation will call on you to bring yourself to it when you’re able. 

For those who are divided — many of us are — let us unite first. Dr. King once said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend”. I am hopeful we can rise above the current moment by listening, learning, and loving, so that we may endure the road ahead. 

Chris Joffe
Founder & CEO