Stopping Asian hate in North Texas starts with you
Last year, I urged you, along with all business, political and community leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth, to take courageous action against deep-seated and systemic racism. This May, in honor of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I urge you once again to join us in condemning all acts of hatred and violence that could threaten the security of our community.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans in major US cities have increased significantly over the past year, and new stories and statistics are released every week. My heart breaks as I read individual reports of unspeakable acts of violence across the country. It is unfathomable to hold Asian Americans responsible for the economic, social, and personal effects of the pandemic. This has to come to an end, and that’s why Capital One is doing everything in its power to promote #StopAsianHate safety and belonging at work and in our communities.
Racial violence undermines our physical and psychological wellbeing and brings our deepest fears and fears to the surface. Like many others, I am deeply concerned and upset about the recent rise in violent, racial attacks against Asian Americans, and I don’t think it’s my job to remain silent. This community in which I live and work is very important to me and I am determined to do everything in my power to promote security and belonging.
After working in many parts of the world, I discovered a fundamental paradox in people. While we are absolutely alike in our shared humanity, we have a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. I have found that when the two of you bring the two of you together – our common humanity and our rich diversity – you can drive bold innovations that you otherwise could not create.
Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Capital One, says communities thrive in places where people are willing to open up and build real trust and meaningful relationships.(Jason Kindig / Jason Kindig)
Communities thrive in places where people are willing to open up and build real trust and meaningful relationships. Every vibrant region has an ecosystem of startups, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits that work together to ensure the success of a community. We have to celebrate our similarities and appreciate our differences, otherwise we will not nurture the wealth and creativity that drive the success of this beautiful city that I call home. Now is the time to unite as a community to eradicate racism and bullying.
Within Capital One, we asked every employee to show solidarity against racism and discrimination of all kinds. As an Executive Sponsor for our Employee Resource Group (AAPI, also known as API), Origins, we’ve hosted internal town halls and meetings to create a safe place for API employees to have real, raw conversations that are free to express oneself and give guidance to allies.
Outside our four walls, we are committed to fighting injustices against the API community through philanthropic and lobbying work. This week we sent a letter to Congress expressing our strong support for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a law that addresses the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic . This legislation, recently passed by the U.S. Senate in a rare 94-1 bipartisan vote, is of great importance to our employees and the communities in which they live. We are calling for the bill to be passed in the US House of Representatives and we look forward to it being signed into law.
To support organizations that campaign for the rights of Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific, we recently announced our Employee Matching Gift Program, in which Capital One compares all donations made by employees dollar for dollar through June to the following groups:
In addition, we are proud to have more than 100 companies supporting the COVID-19 agenda for action at Ascend, the largest non-profit pan-Asian business organization in North America. Our Dallas Origins chapter has partnered with Ascend since 2018 to promote inclusion and development of the AAPI community.
Our solidarity with the AAPI community builds on our broader work promoting racial and economic justice through the Capital One Impact Initiative, which promotes socio-economic mobility by advocating for an inclusive society, building thriving communities, and creating financial tools that enrich life. Last year we announced our promise to organizations that advocate social justice for black communities. I am inspired by the generosity and heart of our employees who want to make a difference.
When you look at Capital One, you can point to any number of groundbreaking innovations that have emerged from our culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging. When teams from different backgrounds and cultures come together and challenge each other’s ideas and perceptions, our end products become all the richer and more dynamic.
Please let us not lose sight of the fact that diversity is the lifeblood of our large community. What lies ahead is a significant opportunity to stand up for one another and ensure that D-FW is a leader in the fight against injustice. It is up to each of us to achieve this. Are you with me?
Sanjiv Yajnik is President of Capital One Financial Services. He is also President of the Capital One National Association (CONA) and a member of the Board of Directors of Capital One. Yajnik also oversees the company’s community relationships in Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. He is the founder and chairman of the Collin County Business Alliance, which brings together leaders to address critical issues in the community.