FHLBank Update

Message from our President and CEO on Racial Injustice

June 19, 2020

The tragic and heartbreaking killing of George Floyd displayed the lingering and insidious impact of racism in the United States. His death and the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose Jr. and so many others have generated an overwhelming sense of pain, fatigue and frustration in our country and around the world. Thousands of demonstrators from all backgrounds have marched to call for recognition and change.

We believe systemic change is necessary. We fully support the right to peacefully protest and mobilize for change. We acknowledge the deeply rooted inequalities that Black communities have experienced and continue to face. We recognize that Black communities bear the weight of unique challenges that are ingrained in our economic, social, judicial, health and education systems which are reinforced intentionally and unintentionally by individuals who lead them.

When Black communities suffer, we suffer as a country and the collective potential of our nation is compromised.

As citizens, we must speak out against racism and all its injustices. We must do better to provide fair and equitable opportunities for underserved communities. Remaining silent is not an option. Open, honest dialogue is necessary to find solutions that lead to meaningful actions and positive change.

To financial services institutions, we must work to identify and dismantle historical practices that have perpetuated disproportionate access to liquidity, wealth and credit for marginalized people and communities. 

To employees of FHLBank Pittsburgh, we must have diversity and inclusion be integral to everything we do. We are determined to do even more to address racial inequities and other forms of bias. We embrace diversity, equity and inclusion as fundamental leadership principles and business practices. This commitment is necessary to build a strong, responsible organization for our members, employees and communities.

And finally, on a personal note, I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina – part of the segregated and deeply unfair South. I experienced first-hand the courageous efforts of Black and other leaders in sit-down strikes, peaceful marches, inspirational speeches and sermons. I also witnessed the violence that followed terrible events such as the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Despite the genuine progress that has taken place since then, in 2020 it is clear that much remains to be done. As a leader, I remain committed to doing my part.

I look forward to continuing our journey in fostering diversity and being truly inclusive. For us, this will mean sustainable, meaningful actions that bring lasting change. We are hopeful that better days are ahead, and I look forward to hearing from you as we continue this work together.  

Winthrop Watson
President and CEO