On 25 May, shock reverberated around the world after footage was released of George Floyd, a 46 year-old black man, who was killed in Minnesota during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.
Police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes despite the victim repeatedly telling the officer he couldn't breathe and was subsequently charged with third- and second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.
Floyd's death has resulted in mass protests and demonstrations across more than 75 cities in the US, which then spread across the world, including to London.
Far from an isolated event, Floyd's death was arguably the straw that broke the camel's back and has caused the world in unison to say "enough is enough".
There will be pain, anguish and exasperation felt across our industry and within our own companies and teams. And in response, there will be colleagues, friends and allies who will feel true empathy and resolve; who will reach out and ask how people are feeling, even if it is a difficult conversation for them to have.
Indeed, support and empathy from the asset management industry through speaking out has already been shown through its response to the recently-launched #IAM social media campaign, which was co-founded by BlackRock's Gavin Lewis, LGIM's Justin Onuekwusi and Impax's Darren Johnson.
Readers can find out more about the campaign, why it was launched and the reasoning behind the imagery here [add URL], but ultimately the motive is to strip back any impersonal identities that could infer social status or provoke judgement, and reveal who the participants are as individuals so that we can all begin understanding each other from a human perspective.
At time of writing, the hashtag has been used 45,624 times on LinkedIn alone since its launch, and now has 2,437 followers.
There is, therefore, clearly a strong desire from the asset management industry to become allies and advocates for the black and broader BAME community and, as previous Investment Week articles have shown, diversity across our industry has been improving over the years. However, we have a very long road ahead of us.
Initiatives such as #TalkAboutBlack, which was launched three years ago as part of The Diversity Project, have done fantastic work in terms of ‘straightening out the kinks' in the talent pipeline for black people so they are better able to progress in our industry.
But now the responsibility lies with each one of us to take the time to educate ourselves on how we can tangibly make a difference in our industry, because the willingness is there - we just need the know-how.
As LGIM's Justin Onuekwusi told Investment Week this week: "We are at a turning point now where you are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Now, people recognise that being silent means you are part of the problem."
To our black colleagues and friends in the asset management industry, Investment Week sees you, we hear you and we support you.