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February is Black History Month

Each year during February, children across the U.S. are taught that there was a time, in our not so distant past, when whole populations of Americans were excluded from enjoying basic human rights because of the color of their skin. Last year, three CPA Legends, Nathan Garrett, Sr., Aurora Rubin and Jim White were asked to speak about their life experiences as CPAs and the challenges, triumphs and changes that have occurred in accounting. What is their common experience? They were among very few CPAs of color at the time they entered the profession.

Nathan Garrett

Aurora Rubin


Jim White


Over the past forty years, the CPA profession has made tremendous progress toward increasing its inclusivity. But there is still more work to do to ensure that accounting reflects the diverse cultures, abilities, orientations and backgrounds of the clients and businesses we serve.

You can learn more about inclusivity and how to make it a part of your organization’s culture through this free AICPA webcast, scheduled for 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 29. Heidi Brundage, CPA, SPHR, will define and provide examples of inclusivity in the work environment, the factors and advantages that support the need for diversity and inclusivity, the issues behind a lack of diversity in accounting and where to locate resources to enhance leadership skills.

With pioneers such as Nathan Garrett, Sr., Aurora Rubin and Jim White having led the charge, we are further opening the profession to include CPAs from all walks of life, making the profession stronger, more attractive to students and young professionals, and ensuring CPAs are at the forefront of supporting businesses all over the globe.  

Ostine Swan, CPA, Senior Manager - Diversity Relationships & Initiatives, American Institute of CPAs. Ostine is responsible for driving the AICPA’s Diversity Initiatives by providing guidance and direction for implementing decisions of the Minority Initiatives Committee.


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