Black Lives Matter.


My heart is heavy from the events taking place across the country. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are tragic events in a long series of injustices that have yet again exposed the layers of historical prejudice and systemic racism that Black people endure in our country. I stand with the Black community against injustice and racism.  

My husband and I have been having a lot of conversations about our privilege. About how we want to raise and educate our children and about our desire to listen, learn and to get uncomfortable. 

We are works in progress, but we can’t stay silent. 

My personal response through Workable Wealth has been delayed as I spent the week with our leadership team at Abacus Wealth ensuring that our collective company voice was utilized to speak up about these issues. As a firm that manages close to $3 billion in assets, I made the call that the power of our collective voice took precedence over my single voice this week. Especially when so many in the financial services industry will stay silent. 

As a white woman who is part of a predominantly white firm in a predominately white profession (only 1.5% of 85,000 Certified Financial Planner professionals identify as Black), I recognize that more action is needed. I want to be very conscious of our family’s (and my personal) steps forward. I am and always will be a believer that actions speak louder than words. 

We are still in discussion about what this holistically looks like for us as a family, and are ensuring we move forward intentionally, with actions that stretch us, create a lasting impact, and that we can hold ourselves accountable to. 

The following books are being read:

We spent this morning watching Coming Together: A Sesame Street & CNN Townhall on Racism as a family.

We’re making donations to organizations like NAACP, The Conscious Kid, and the Equal Justice Initiative.

We’re referencing this anti-racist resources document (which is the most comprehensive I’ve seen) to continue our education. More will transpire in the weeks and months ahead. We do not view this as a one-time sprint. This is a journey we’re embarking on for a trip that is long overdue. 

On a final note, it’s critical to acknowledge that, in the midst of the protests and activism happening this week, we must avoid either/or statements. 

Black lives matter AND I’m a former military spouse.

Black lives matter AND I have friends and family who serve our country as military, border patrol and police officers, whom I love.

Black lives matter AND there are systemic issues at play across most industries and governments.

Black lives matter AND there are implicit biases at play in each of us.

Black lives matter AND this topic deserves the attention, undoing, relearning and unpacking that it is receiving at this moment.

Black lives matter AND saying these words does NOT imply that other lives don’t.

Black lives matter AND it’s time to do the work to support and lift them up in ways that we haven’t been.

This is a collaborative effort and it’s one that takes humility, love and patience.  I believe we are on the precipice of change. Change that happens when we work together.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP® is an author, speaker, and financial coach who takes a fun, no-nonsense approach in working with individuals and couples across the country, helping them make smart choices with their money.

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