As a firm that fights for the rights of workers’ every day, it is our duty to educate ourselves and stand with our clients, employees, and partners of color. Pond Lehocky founding partner, Thomas J. Giordano, shares his thoughts early Tuesday morning in an all-staff email.
“I feel completely helpless, frustrated and quite honestly, ill-equipped to even comment on what is happening in our city and in our country,” Tom writes. “While my life was far from perfect, I know nothing of the struggles that minorities in this country, especially African Americans, deal with every day. We are listening, and most importantly we want to know how we can help. We don’t have the answers. We need your help; we need your feedback.
This message did not fall on deaf ears at the firm. Donald (DJ) Russel, a Pond Lehocky Disability Case Manager, activist, and member of the LGBTQ/black community, shares that he feels resilience as he reads Tom’s email that touches on the current state of our nation.
“As always, I felt our company has been aware and inclusive of all voices! Now more than ever, our black brothers and sisters’ voices need to be heard,” DJ said. “I am sad. I am overwhelmed. I am angry. We are tired. I am glad to be a part of an organization that doesn’t silence the voices of the people who must be heard. We have a long way to go, but with the continued support and acknowledgement by our partners, we can move forward to a place of peace.”
Pond Lehocky fosters open communication and input from its staff. Culture and community remain core values at the firm. The firm hosted a dress down day fundraiser during Black History Month and matched all staff donations to Institute for the Development of African American Youth (IDAAY). Staff also donated canned food goods for Broad Street Ministry.
“When I first heard the news of the death of George Floyd, my heart immediately broke. I thought to myself, please not again; not another name to add to the growing list,” Webb continued. “For far too long African Americans have felt unheard, and therefore unprotected by a system sworn to protect all. I realize I can no longer sit on the sidelines hoping someone else will step in and help change things. I have to step up and be the change I wish to see. And my hope is truly that the momentum built over the last few days leads to our justice system seeing real change in the near future.”
Webb, like many, does not condone the violence and destruction that has occurred in some cases. She encourages those who truly want to help in some way, to do so knowing that there are far more people that want to see justice served peacefully and lawfully. Pond Lehocky joins her, DJ, and our brothers and sisters of color in the hope that this movement will institute real systematic change.
“As an African American, I strive to not only set a positive example for my clients, but to also foster better relationships and understanding with my coworkers from all backgrounds. I hope that my willingness to have open communication about my background serves as a tool to truly break barriers and create a positive working environment,” Pond Lehocky attorney Danielle Webb shared during Black History Month earlier this year.
“I needed to say something so that everyone in this firm knows that this movement matters to us and to me,” Tom emphasized.
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