Botham Jean’s employer encourages talks on race, makes monetary donations

Botham Jean’s employer encourages talks on race, makes monetary donations
Botham and Tim Ryan (right)
Botham and Tim Ryan (right)

(BLOOMBERG) — Tim Ryan, U.S. chairman of PwC, wants workers to try to understand how black colleagues might be feeling after a police officer shot and killed one of the company’s workers in Dallas last week.

“Emotions are raw not only in Dallas but across the firm,” Ryan said in an email on Tuesday to employees. “It is important that we all take time to understand the experiences our underrepresented minorities — and especially, in this situation, our black colleagues — experience in everyday life so that we can all be better co-workers, friends and allies.”

Botham Jean, a 26-year-old associate in PwC’s risk assurance department and native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, was killed last week in his home by Amber Guyger, 30, who said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and believed he was an intruder. She was charged with manslaughter on Sunday.

Jean received his bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting and management information systems from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, according to his LinkedIn page. He started as an intern at PwC.

This is the second firm-wide note Ryan has sent in the last two days. He said over the weekend he spoke to Jean’s mother.

‘Role of Race’

Ryan, who is white, said he has received questions about the “role of race in this tragedy.”

“There is an ongoing investigation and hopefully we will know more soon,” he said. “That said, what we do know is that an unarmed man was tragically killed in his own home.”

PwC, which has 50,000 employees in the U.S., has encouraged workers to talk about difficult topics in the workplace in the past. Following the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in July 2016 — the same month that Jean began working at PwC full-time — the firm held talks about race. Nearly a year later, after a group of white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, Ryan released a statement encouraging respectful, open dialogue among co-workers.

Ryan, along with executives from other companies, helped start the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge in 2017, which seeks to corral chief executive officers into promoting discussions of workplace diversity and inclusion. More than 500 CEOs have signed on.

‘Moment of Silence’

Ryan said the company is providing resources for employees and Jean’s family. The PwC Foundation has contributed toward the cost of Jean’s memorial service and the company will make a $50,000 contribution to a scholarship fund that Jean’s family established in the 26-year-old’s honor. PwC also created a scholarship for minority students majoring in accounting at Jean’s alma mater and pledged to make another $50,000 donation to that fund.

PwC will observe a moment of silence on Thursday afternoon, coinciding with Jean’s funeral, which Ryan will attend.


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  1. Chris, you are commenting about what you do not know; ask those who have lived with these people and have kept their eyes WIDE open. Now you be quiet!


    • @chris

      Don't sound like a fool if you have nothing of importance to say just be silent, and please don't address the folks as white people who talks that way... what if he was to address you as black people... sounds kinda idiotic right... show some respect. This is a complicated matter and it has to be dealt with some folks won't feel comfortable and that's ok I think its time we need to iron out all the matters that arise from this unless we as humans learn to see each other as just that we won't ever have any kind of peace in this place.


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