Doug Conick Comments: Standing up for the marginalized
Doug Conick, DUCA's President and CEO, comments on the current events taking place in the Unites States, Canada, and elsewhere around the world.
Recent events in the United States, under the banner of “Black Lives Matter,” have exploded across North America, spilling into Canada and around the world, as people react to systemic racial discrimination. Right now, members of black communities everywhere – often joined by members of other communities – are standing up against racism and demanding change. The widespread nature of the protests underscores how much work there’s still left to be done to create a world where equality is a given, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
This has caused me to pause as I consider my own perspective, both personally and as the head of DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd.
On a personal level, while Canada is not perfect, I believe we are fortunate to live in a country that makes a serious effort to embrace diversity. In my family, which includes people of colour, we know what it’s like to be treated differently because of race. Years ago, when living in Japan, we experienced instances of racial discrimination, some of which I witnessed and some that I heard about. I know how disheartening these experiences can be, often leaving a person with feelings of powerlessness and discouragement…something many people are feeling today.
And yet we also experienced many acts of inclusion and kindness from Japanese friends who made us feel welcome and supported. That gives me hope, knowing this type of support exists within us.
On a professional level, as President and CEO of DUCA, our talented and dedicated employees come from all places and walks of life, as do our Members. We honour and celebrate that diversity and see it as one of our strengths. At a time like this, I’m aware of the impact an organization can have. So when we say DUCA exists to help people do more, be more and achieve more, by “people” we mean everyone. And by committing to our internal corporate values – to bring out the best in others; do what’s right, even when it’s difficult; and make what’s possible happen – we commit ourselves to acting in ways that support all our communities, both inside and outside of our Credit Union.
It’s not just current events causing this reflection. As we enter Pride Month, when the world's LGBTQ+ communities come together to celebrate the freedom to be themselves, its roots remind me of current events. We think of Pride Month today as largely a time of joy but let’s not forget it was born out of the need for a marginalized group to raise awareness of deep-seated discrimination and to demand action and change.
I encourage everyone reading this to undertake what we recently discussed internally at DUCA: Let’s continue to take care of ourselves and each other, celebrate our differences while honestly trying to learn more about the experiences of others, take pride in who we are and our roots, and treat everyone with kindness and respect. We all have it within us to do that and make the world the best it can be.
And because we know very well at DUCA that helping our Members “do more” often means being there, financially, along life’s journey, we’re showing financial support through a donation from our DUCA Impact Lab to Black Lives Matter.
President and CEO
DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd.