Franklin Templeton Celebrates Black History Month

Mar 31, 2021 12:00 PM ET
Article

Franklin Templeton employees joined its Black Empowerment Network (BEN) business resource group (BRG) and specialist investment organizations for the firm’s first all-virtual Black History Month (BHM).

“This year’s BHM focus was the Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity, and we featured events that would educate others on these areas and, most importantly, be fun,” said Karen Lewis, VP, FT Technologies, and BEN Global Co-Lead. “We are very proud of our successful BHM this year and thank everyone for their engagement and support.”​

Honored in Canada and the United States each February, BHM is a time for celebrating achievements and remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

Throughout the month, BEN members shared Black history facts on the group’s internal community page, and employees took part in the LinkedIn Learning challenge, spending five minutes or less per day to take recommended courses by Black authors.

Driving Change: How to Create a More Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
The month’s events kicked off on Feb. 2 with Franklin Templeton employees joining a live discussion among leaders from Nielsen, Dropbox and LinkedIn on how to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for Black professionals​. Tips included broadening recruitment pools, building strong partnerships across departments, analyzing who participates in programs and adapting job descriptions to focus on only the most important qualifications.

Sustainability in Defining Moments: Honoring the Past and Inspiring the Future
Western Asset’s Black Heritage Network hosted a discussion on the business case for diversity and inclusion (D&I) on Feb. 3. The conversation covered experiences with racism, support from allies, the importance of including people of diverse backgrounds in sensitive discussions and the necessary shifts to improve D&I.

Reflections on Reginald F. Lewis
On Feb. 10 employees heard from Tony Fugett, brother of Reginald Lewis, the first Black American to build a billion-dollar company, TLC Beatrice International Holdings Inc. The conversation gave a glimpse into Reginald’s life and the resolve and leadership that led to his successes. Reginald, who died from cancer in 1993, has the phrase “keep going no matter what” on his tombstone.

Black Wall Street Massacre in Tulsa, OK: 100 Years Later
On Feb. 19, Franklin Templeton employees were invited to attend a fireside chat, “Black Wall Street Massacre in Tulsa, OK: 100 Years Later,” hosted by the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Black Alumni Network. An executive and entrepreneur led attendees on a historical journey through the impact of the massacre and how it reverberates today.

What Now? Moving Forward from Color-Blindness to Racial Consciousness
Held by Franklin Templeton in partnership with Brandywine Global​, the event challenged employees’ ideas about color blindness and tolerance. Communication, education and accountability were considered essential for racial consciousness to be widely embraced in the corporate world.

Virtual Wildlife African Safari
On Feb. 22, employees joined for a virtual wildlife African safari hosted by ClearBridge Investments. The family-friendly event followed safari guides from the Phinda Private Game Reserve on a drive through the Singita Sabi Sand concession in South Africa.

Getting to Know Us: BHM Virtual Happy Hour
On Feb. 25, employees attended a virtual social hour hosted by Franklin Templeton, along with Brandywine Global, ClearBridge Investments and Western Asset. Black Card Revoked trivia, an African American-inspired game of knowledge, was an event highlight.

BEN Talks: Mental Health in the Black Community during a Pandemic
The month’s events concluded on March 3 with the first BEN Talks of the year, a conversation about mental health in the Black community with a marriage and family therapist. Employees tuned in to learn about the history of African Americans and mental health and to share their experiences in seeking services—both good and bad. The conversation also focused on the impact of stress and trauma on mental health, especially ongoing pandemic-related stress.

About Franklin Templeton’s BRGs
The business resource groups bring a critical perspective and value to our business through strategic initiatives. BRGs create shared experience among colleagues by providing opportunities to network, collaborate, contribute insights on business initiatives and support colleagues through mentorship and open dialogue. Our BRGs include: 

ABLE: Uniting and supporting individuals whose lives are impacted by disabilities. 

BEN: Facilitating the success of people of African descent and their allies by enriching their professional lives, creating connections, and promoting an inclusive environment. 

HOLA: Facilitating the professional and personal growth of Hispanic / Latino employees and allies. 

PRIDE: Promoting an inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees and allies; encouraging authenticity and respect while valuing differences in communities where we live and work. 

VETERANS: Honoring soldiers' sacrifices and commitments by supporting veterans, active-duty members and allies. 

WOMEN: Providing a platform to encourage, inspire and support women in their careers. 

About Franklin Templeton
Franklin Resources, Inc. [NYSE:BEN] is a global investment management organization with subsidiaries operating as Franklin Templeton and serving clients in over 165 countries. Franklin Templeton’s mission is to help clients achieve better outcomes through investment management expertise, wealth management and technology solutions. Through its specialist investment managers, the Company brings extensive capabilities in equity, fixed income, multi-asset solutions and alternatives. With offices in more than 30 countries and approximately 1,300 investment professionals, the California-based company has over 70 years of investment experience and approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of February 28, 2021. For more information, please visit franklinresources.com.