It has been a challenging year for us in many regards, and I am sorry to see so many of you impacted by recent events. I hope you are all safe and well and seeking the support you need to take care of yourselves and your families. I also hope that you have been able to find some of this support through your peers within the FICP community.
Typically, those in our profession possess high degrees of empathy and compassion. I know, personally, that many of you are engaged well beyond your own organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts to act ethically, and be accountable for social, economic and environmental impacts.
I also know that, like me, you have probably been saddened, angered and frustrated to see the recent events unfold across the U.S., and the resulting protests and social upheaval. These incidents have served as a stark reminder of the racism and systemic inequality that many in our country endure every day.
While FICP has traditionally chosen not to vocalize its support for or advocate on behalf of social justice issues, recent events have renewed our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, not just within the association, but also the meetings and events and financial services and insurance industries as well as our society at large.
We cannot remain silent in the face of so many devastating occurrences and issues that have had a direct and significant impact on you and your friends, colleagues and families.
I assure you that we will continue to discuss these topics at the Board level in the coming weeks to formalize this sentiment, and determine the most appropriate and effective actions we can take to bring about positive change in these areas.
In the interim, I want to make it clear that FICP does not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form, and is committed to not just fostering productive dialogue but enabling lasting change in our inclusive and diverse society.
Michael S. Burke, CMP
Director - Conference & Travel Services
2020 FICP Chair