A-LIGN Celebrates Black History Month 2021

A-LIGN’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Network focused on empower and education its CLIMBERS and promoting awareness through various initiatives throughout the month.

Black History Month is a time dedicated to learning about and celebrating Black American culture and the innovation that diversity brings to the workplace. The celebration carried even greater importance this year after the heart-wrenching societal injustices many experienced in 2020. A-LIGN’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Network focused on empowering and educating its CLIMBERS and promoting awareness through various initiatives throughout the month.  

Lunch & Learn:
Let’s All Do What is Right

On Tuesday, February 23, I was honored to host a lunch-and-learn panel with Jennifer Newton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Black Compliance and Risk Management Professionals (NABCRMP), and Leonard Burke, Director of Asset Management at Beneficial Communities. The live, virtual event attracted nearly 100 CLIMBERS and covered topics around stigma and microaggressions in the workplace, becoming an ally and coping with societal injustice. CLIMBERS actively participated in the challenging but necessary conversations as we all work toward becoming true change agents on this ongoing journey.  

About Jennifer Newton

Jennifer Newton

Jennifer Newton previously served as a Federal Financial Services Regulator and as an attorney in the private sector advising on banking and consumer compliance matters. With her combined experience in the federal government, law firm, and in-house compliance roles, Jennifer offers an uncommonly broad range and depth of compliance expertise in banking and financial service matters. Well-respected by her peers, Jennifer has been featured in publications such as the Compliance Review, Law360, Daily Business Review, American Banker, Bankrate, and JDSupra and she regularly speaks at prominent industry conferences. As a member of NABCRMP myself, I was thrilled to collaborate with Jennifer on A-LIGN’s Black History Month initiatives and have her share her success journey both in the legal world and as the founder and CEO of NABCRMP.

About Leonard Burke

Leonard BurkeLeonard Burke is the Director of Asset Management for Beneficial Communities, a firm whose mission is driven by bringing real estate projects for underserved populations from rural to inner-city urban communities. Leonard is responsible for overseeing its nationwide commercial real estate & multi-family portfolio. Prior to Beneficial Communities, Leonard was the Director of Asset Management for the Tampa Housing Authority. Leonard was named the top 40 under 40 professional by the Tampa Bay Business Journal and actively donates his time and resources in helping at-risk and innercity youth uncover their true worth in life. He mentors several young men, conducts motivation speeches at local Title 1 schools and started a pilot program that helps innercity students learn how to understand and write computer code. Leonard is also a Board Member of Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay.


CLIMBERS Giving Back: NABCRMP Student Internship Program

The National Association of Black Compliance & Risk Management Professionals, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the professional development and career advancement of Black compliance and risk professionals. During Black History Month, CLIMBERS raised $1,000 for NABCRMP’s student internship program, an initiative helping youth in the Black community find meaningful and impactful opportunities to help kickstart their professional careers. A-LIGN matched 100% of all donations, raising a total of $2,000 

Empowering and Educating CLIMBERS

You can only do better when you know better. That is why A-LIGN focuses on empowering and educating its CLIMBERS so that together, we can create a better workplace and community that is welcoming to all. This month, all CLIMBERS were assigned a Microaggression in the Workplace course in ASPIRE, A-LIGN’s repository of e-learning and certification courses. Because diversity and inclusion efforts are an ongoing journey and not an end destination, we also encourage CLIMBERS to continue educating themselves through other available courses, including Unconscious Bias, Diversity in the Workplace, Celebrating Diversity, and much more. 

Interested in learning more about our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Network or exploring careers at A-LIGN? Contact us at [email protected] for more information!