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A Statement From President & CEO John Adkisson on Racial Injustice

It has been a very difficult time in my hometown of Minneapolis and around the nation. The senseless killing of George Floyd has laid bare the racial injustices that continue to permeate many segments of our society. It is my sincere hope that justice is swiftly enforced and our country comes together peacefully to confront the systemic marginalization of the Black community.

My colleague, Ahmed Davis, who has chaired our firm’s diversity initiative for many years, sent out a moving firmwide email this week that quoted Dr. King who said, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Without question, Fish stands with the Black community.

Over the past two weeks, we have done a lot of listening. We are listening to our Black colleagues, leaders in the community, and frustration in our streets. We are working to understand how to go beyond words to take actions and make a difference. Our reflections have led us to believe that some of the most meaningful change will come with educating ourselves and those around us, talking to our children, and supporting organizations that are focused on education and rebuilding. As a first step, our grassroots efforts center on those goals.

EDUCATION & SUPPORT:

  • Our goal is to create an open dialogue and not shy away from uncomfortable or difficult conversations. We have provided our management with resources, including on being an anti-racist ally, and we will continue to share educational resources with everyone at Fish.
  • Now, more than ever, furthering our diversity and inclusion goals is a top priority. Earlier this year, we engaged an outside expert in the field – MindGym – to help us identify areas in our diversity and inclusion strategic plan that need improvement, and we are currently working on the next iteration of that plan based on what we are learning.
  • We have increased mental health support services and resources for everyone in our Fish family.

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS & COMMUNITY SUPPORT:

  • We recognize the need to act both locally and nationally to aid those on the front lines offering aid and resources to educate, support and rebuild.
    • Our lawyers are actively involved in pro bono service, and we are proud of the continued work they do for underprivileged communities.
    • In order to empower all of our employees to make a difference, we are providing every employee with two days of community support time this summer. Employees are encouraged to step away from work and use this time to volunteer in a neighborhood cleanup/food distribution effort, engage with city and community leaders or provide support to a 501(c)(3) non-profit. If all of our employees participate, we will have together contributed 12,000 hours of volunteer time.

Fish & Richardson stands in solidarity with the Black community. We see you, we hear you, and we are committed to doing the work to ensure a better future for ourselves and future generations. We oppose racism in any form. We stand together with our communities of color to call for an end to social injustice.

John Adkisson
President & CEO
Fish & Richardson P.C.