CalCPA Diversity Equity and Inclusion Statement

Let's Break the Silence Together  

The events of the past week have been heartbreaking on many levels. The brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have once again exposed the horrific legacy of centuries of racism and discrimination in our country. And while our society has slowly made some progress over time, there is still far more to be done to achieve the promise of an America where one's black or brown skin does not deny equal access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

Each of us is experiencing these events differently, based on our personal histories, circumstances and biases. Many of us are genuinely suffering from the pain, anguish and fear caused by these tragic events. All of those feelings are legitimate—and with them comes an opportunity for meaningful action. 

CalCPA recognizes that no professional organization is immune from the responsibility of contributing to a more fair, equitable and just society. That responsibility starts by looking inward, to ourselves individually—and as an association. 

CalCPA's volunteer leadership and Executive Team unequivocally condemn all forms of racial discrimination and the injustices they perpetuate. We believe it is paramount that all CalCPA members have confidence in our firm commitment to fostering an accessible and inclusive environment where diversity and equality thrive as fundamental values of our organization. 

And while it's important to acknowledge that racial disparities inherently exist within any organization's culture, it's more important to take steady steps toward correcting those disparities. Especially in matters like these, actions speak louder than words. 

We're Building a Framework for Meaningful Action 
"The time is always right to do what is right."—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

As an organization committed to building a more diverse and inclusive environment for all members, I’d like to share some of the steps we are taking at CalCPA to demonstrate how we are embracing ownership and accountability in these areas. 

Within the next 90 days, CalCPA is committed to the following:

  • As CEO, I will sign a pledge that publicly affirms CalCPA's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the organization.
  • CalCPA will form a member-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Committee that will be committed to leading our efforts in creating meaningful programs, resources and positive outcomes for our members, staff and partners. I have asked Brad Monterio, our VP and Chief Learning Officer, to help establish this committee and serve as staff liaison.
  • With the guidance of the DE&I Committee, CalCPA will adopt and acculturate specific goals, standards and practices designed to identify and address racial inequities, among others.
  • We will hold ourselves accountable by establishing specific metrics to measure progress on the goals and outcomes set by the DE&I Committee.
  • In partnership with the broader community of state CPA societies across the nation, we will collaborate with our colleagues and learn from—and contribute to—best practices for achieving a more just and equitable professional association.
  • We have established an email account dedicated to informing CalCPA's commitment to making progress on our goal to affect positive change in healing racial divisions and inequalities: inclusion@calcpa.org. I welcome you to share any thoughts and experiences that you believe would help inform CalCPA's plans for the vital work ahead. 
We're All In This Together
Please know that this will be a sustained effort, and that new objectives and outcomes will be established over time as determined by our progress, results and feedback from members. Some of this work will require honest and sometimes difficult discussions about ourselves, our interpersonal relationships and our organization as a whole. Soon, we will share resources designed to help you engage in these relevant and meaningful conversations as we begin this work together. 

In the meantime, please take care of yourself and your loved ones. In addition to recent tragic events, we're also dealing with significant impacts on how we conduct our work and daily lives due to COVID-19. I believe it's especially important that each of us invests some time to practice self-care, while also reaching out to check in on family, friends and colleagues. 

Relationships define who we are as individuals, as an organization, as a profession, and as a society. It will be through the strength and power of these relationships that we will improve our world together.

Be well,  

Anthony J. Pugliese, CPA, CGMA, CITP
President & CEO
California Society of CPAs (CalCPA)
CalCPA Education Foundation