How T. Rowe Price is fighting systemic racism and what other companies can do to help
For John Brothers, the death of a black man at the hands of police in Minneapolis has been felt personally. Brothers, president of the T. Rowe Price Foundation, is originally from Minneapolis. He used to ride his bike through the community where George Floyd died. He feels disheartened that his hometown continues to deal with the issues of systemic racism that he worked on 25 years ago. "It somewhat saddens me that we haven't made much progress in those areas since I was there," Brothers said.
Floyd's death and the resulting protests against systemic racism taking place across the U.S. brings Brothers back to 2015 when he joined the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Brothers' first days leading the philanthropic arm of T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) came as Baltimore was the epicenter of civil unrest following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody.
The foundation quickly pivoted its model under Brothers' leadership from being purely about corporate citizenship to making specific impacts in Baltimore communities. After the unrest in Baltimore, the T. Rowe Price Foundation made its largest-ever single pledge, $1.3 million over three years in West Baltimore, for a group of initiatives aimed at strengthening organizational leadership, improving financial education and increasing access to fresh produce. Since then, the foundation has not turned back. Brothers called 2015 the start of "roots and shoots" of other investments the foundation has continued to make.
Source: Baltimore Business Journal