William Blair Announces New Business Resource Group: ONE Alliance

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Josephine Lee/Chicago Children's Choir and Jacqui Robertson/William Blair

Josephine Lee, president and artistic director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, joins Jacqui Robertson, William Blair’s global head of talent, diversity, inclusion, for the virtual launch of ONE Alliance.

William Blair welcomed its newest business resource group ONE Alliance, dedicated to embracing all cultures and ethnicities, during a virtual launch on April 29.

ONE Alliance joins three other BRGs at the firm created for employees to support a workplace culture of inclusion and diversity where all voices and perspectives are heard and valued. 

"Aligned with William Blair's mission and values, ONE Alliance will create a platform to share knowledge, raise culture awareness and serve as a bridge across cultures," said Sharon Zackfia, head of the firm's equity research consumer team, during the virtual launch.

Zackfia and Jon Zindel, William Blair's CFO, are the executive co-sponsors of the group.

Zindel echoed those remarks, welcoming ONE Alliance to the family of William Blair's other BRGs: Women's Alliance, Veterans' Alliance, and Pride Alliance. All were founded to nurture an inclusive and respectful workplace, a core value of William Blair and essential to a sustainable enterprise for colleagues, clients and communities.

For the launch Jacqui Robertson, global head of talent, diversity, inclusion at William Blair, moderated an online discussion with Josephine Lee, president and artistic director of the Chicago Children's Choir (CCC), on the importance of inclusion and diversity in today's world.

The CCC, a William Blair community partner, was founded in 1956 during the height of the civil rights movement to inspire and unite diverse youth. Since then it has grown into a body with 140 choirs across Chicago serving 5,200 students.

Lee said that with rehearsals and performances disrupted due to COVID-19, the choir has turned to Zoom for virtual gatherings to stay connected. These include rehearsals, performances, music theory classes, fireside chats with alumni, all done online.

"We've embraced the cloud and this digital platform—it's been a blessing and a challenge. But it's what we all need to do," said Lee. "There's no looking back."  

Lee, a Chicago native and daughter of Chinese immigrants, has dedicated her life to serving youth through music. She is passionate about the choir and has seen firsthand how it connects and changes the lives of kids of diverse backgrounds. 

Asked what inspires and gives her hope, Lee said: "the young people today."

"They have a lot of power and what they do with that power is critical. If we don't have a world that is compassionate and respectful, what's the point?"

"I really hope that each and everyone understands that we are a microcosm of the world and what we do in the next few years for our young people and our country and our world will define the next century," she told Robertson.

ONE Alliance Virtual Launch Replay

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