On Sept. 28, Rev. W. Douglas Banks, a seventh generation descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, met with TruMark Financial employees and shared his personal journey of accepting and reconciling his ancestry and suggested examples of ways to create a more equitable, inclusive, belonging community. The event was live streamed to reach employees who were not able to attend in person at the Fort Washington headquarters.
Upon learning about his lineage to Thomas Jefferson, Banks said he had to face the flaws he inherited and decide what he was going to do with them. He realized President Jefferson was responsible for some good things but as a slave owner he was also responsible for atrocities.
He believes even out of the worst situations, good things can come. “You cannot fix what you are not going to face,” said Banks. He firmly believes that we are all part of humanity and that once individuals are willing to fix their flaws they can grow past failures.
Banks challenged employees to look within themselves, embrace differences, and create a more inclusive community within the organization as well externally to the members the credit union serves.