This past year, I have had the privilege of working on a couple initiatives, which I consider to be relevant to the future we wish to create. The first is curating, hosting, and facilitating and discussion on Black Finance Matters: Uncovering the Dark Side of the Finance Industry. The second, a first for me, is writing a policy piece for titled Metrics that Matter: Figures That Foster Multilateral Prosperity for the Values 20, a new group focused on creating human centered. And finally, external to me, the announcement at COP26 on the creation of the ISSB with a few reflections on that specifically as it relates to the previous two initiatives.
Fun fact, my debut on the NSFM Bright Talk ESG Channel was hosting our first all-black panel.
A privilege which I am thrilled to hold. This conversation covered a plethora of topics ranging from reparations to unconscious bias to how we can create a more inclusive financial system. And whether we need to reconsider how our financial systems fundamental operate! A stellar conversation, which I would highly encourage you all to check out. Here were a few of my key takeaways:
1. Financial inclusion is imperative at the individual, venture capital, and global financial levels
2. Unconscious bias exists in organizations, training on these biases can be a significant first step
3. Creating an inclusive financial system should start from the inside out
My next adventure involved a world I never really thought I would end up in—policy.
By chance, I stumbled across the V20 and submitted a proposal titled Metrics that Matter. The proposal resonated and fortunately, a couple coauthors kindly joined me on this journey. We discussed, debated, wrote, edited, re-wrote, and co-created this piece which petitions G20 policymakers to champion the use of metrics that matter when it comes to measuring people, planet, and prosperity. Our recommendations included:
1. specific metrics which we believe will more fully account for externalities at the national and supra-national levels in addition to expanding ESG disclosures at the business levels
2. partnering with multinational organizations to better understand how global capital flows and philanthropic dollars are being distributed
3. leveraging new technological advances to support and simplify the collection, measuring, and use of metrics
Based on the information above, you could only imagine how elated I was when I heard the announcement of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26. The advancement of ESG Disclosures is something I think is critical to creating a better future. Additionally, I think inclusivity is also critical to creating a better future as well. While I agree this is a step in the right direction, what concerns me most with the ISSB is the governing structure. In the IFRS Constitution section 46, sub-points A, B, C, and D—there is already a geographic imbalance embedded in the standards.
It is time we raise our standards.
On January 6th, a group of domestic terrorists formed by White Nationalists and their counterparts in the Capitol Police department stormed Capitol in Washington DC. Their insurrection aimed at undermining democracy in the American Republic by overturning the results of the 2020 election. This planned and deliberate fascist attempt amounts to treason. And all those involved in this treasonous attempt should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A judge and jury can determine the appropriate course of action.
That being said, this powder keg of events has been nurtured over time. In fact, domestic terrorism from right wing terrorist groups like the ones we saw yesterday were identified by the FBI as one of the greatest threats to America. The following testimony from the FBI Archives in 2002 talks about this matter in greater depth. To put in blankly, the actions of domestic terrorism from these particular groups should come as no shock.
How do Conservative and Radical Christians relates?
They are funding and fueling these terrorist groups. That is not to say that all Conservatives and Christians are bad or complicit. In fact, I have several Conservative and Christian friends myself. I respect them and their views. I even agree with them on certain topical issues, which I will not address here. But I am calling for all the moderate, liberal, and any reasonable Conservative and or Christian to condone these attacks.
Let us by very clear, you cannot place the blame at "Antifa" or Anti-Fascist groups. The actions of yesterday align for too well with Fascism to encourage the involvement of Anti-Fascist groups. The red flags were everywhere. In fact, there were "a large assortment of flags: American flags, Confederate flags, and Trump 2020 flags; the Christian flag, QAnon flags, and Don’t Tread on Me flags."
It is also worth noting that this insurrection was planned. In fact, the Black Lives Matter movement and its leaders advised their members, people of color, and others not to come out on January 6th because of these planned actions by these domestic terrorists. And went so far as to warn law enforcement that there were plans. Given the warnings, it makes the lack of security on that day very suspect and questionable. Which ought to be investigated.
An attempted coup on the Capitol should not be taken lightly. Americans need to wake up and understand what is going on around them. Read and understand your history. Know who your friends are, know who your enemies are, and know who the hypocrites are.
Make sure your actions write a historical narrative you can be proud of. To anyone who recognizes their mistakes and changes for the better, you have my deepest respect.
Be on the right side of history.