May 30, 2020
Note to Sixth Street Community
Below is a note sent today to the Sixth Street team that we wanted to share with the rest of our community:
Over the last three months, as Sixth Street has navigated the global pandemic as a business, we’ve reminded each other to take care of our communities and ourselves. We’ve donated resources in the cities and countries in which we operate and, just as importantly, we’ve looked after each other.
In that spirit, we must acknowledge that the last few days have been terrible for the United States, where most of us live and work.
Many members of our team, from a variety of offices, functions and backgrounds, have reached out to say how searing and awful it was to witness the violent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the attempted intimidation of Christian Cooper in Central Park. Coming on the heels of Ahmaud Arbery being attacked and killed while going for a run in Georgia, the killing of Breonna Taylor in her home in the middle of the night in Louisville, and processing this in the context of the outsized impact of Covid-19 on communities of color due to structural inequality—it’s tragically not new, but it is overwhelming.
We as a community of professionals and humans want to call out the following:
- There is no place at Sixth Street for racism, discrimination or intimidation in any form. We all know this, and our culture of respect, directness and good faith has been an affirmative benefit for us.
- Many of us are from communities of color, where this violence feels closer to home. This may bring more acute feelings of sadness, exhaustion, hopelessness and fear. Without engaging in comparisons, we acknowledge widespread feelings of uncertainty as divisiveness has come to the fore – including anti-Asian sentiment around the world as it relates to Covid-19, Latinx communities being singled out for attack, and other tragedies and incidents.
- We acknowledge this is not a new reality for many, especially in the Black community.
- We are here to encourage dialogue and are working on constructive ways to facilitate conversation, and providing guidance to our leadership teams. Changing systemic racism and inequality starts in our own homes, families, businesses and communities.
- We know some groups of us are already assembling to continue these discussions. We encourage it and if we can bring some institutional help to that in whatever form, we will.
- It can be hard in this light to continue charging forward. Our already consuming work, Zoom meetings, our coffee breaks or cocktail hours – these can often be welcome distractions from being isolated and uncertain, but they can also just be too much to get up for sometimes. We acknowledge this.
- We are reminding everyone of our external resources that can help us as individuals when dealing with anxiety or feelings of hopelessness.
- It’s more than ok to be stunned and knocked off your stride by what’s happened in the last week and more – it’s human and our humanity is what we need to share more of if we are going to thrive as a business and live in our world together in some semblance of peace and respect.
- Our impulse is to act. In addition to our existing partnerships, we are making a donation in the form of a long-term commitment to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and we encourage our team to donate where they feel appropriate and submit to our matching program.
- Our strength as a business is our culture of collaboration. Let’s look after each other and serve as examples of safety, common sense and calm in the face of a lot of the inhumanity we’re witnessing.
Sixth Street Partners