At this very moment, our country is lending expression to pain that has been ignored for too long. Make no mistake, what we are witnessing today shows a fraction of the pain, a fraction of the injury, a fraction of the injustice suffered by our countrymen of African descent. Albert Einstein once said, “If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.”
We will not be silent.
My deepest sympathies go out this morning to George Floyd, his family, his friends and loved ones, and to all other African Americans who have suffered the trauma of aggressive policing, whether directly or indirectly, for generations. The nagging fear that our fellow citizens of color wake up to every day is unthinkable and regrettably part of the American experience for far too long.
With a heavy but hopeful heart, I stand with those calling for justice for George Floyd, and for sweeping systemic change, so that every American can live and pursue without fear or hindrance the dream that brought me to this country. With such hope, I support the peaceful protestors and the law enforcement professionals who have knelt and prayed with them in solidarity.
As a business leader, I have seen the power of people of different races, nationalities, genders, religions, and ages working together. The more diverse a team, the more dynamic their solutions and, thus, the more successful the enterprise. Beyond our condemnation of racism, beyond our commitment to our organization’s diversity, there is more we must do to contribute to equality in America.
Just as I have asked in recent days, so many people are asking how they can help at this time. There are many wonderful organizations that have been fighting for racial justice and peaceful change for a long time and know more about what is needed than anyone. These include: American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Center for Policing Equality, and National Museum of African American History & Culture. They have been on the front lines of this fight, and they need our support.
Please join us in supporting the efforts of these organizations. Let us take their lead. How can we make a difference at our dinner table? How can we make a change in our circles of friends? In our community? In our state? In our great country, and become an example to the world? Make no mistake, the change begins in our hearts.
The change we seek places us at the side of a mountain with thousands of feet of rocky and steep terrain to navigate. It will be challenging. It will be hard. It will be painful. But we cannot take our eyes off the summit. We will look to the leaders who are most familiar with this fight for their expertise, we will listen with humility and take responsibility for the role each of us owns in tearing down structural racism, and we will continue this effort until it is no longer needed. I pray for that day. The day that the most fundamental ideal of the American Dream, E Pluribus Unum, is no longer aspirational, but our manifest reality.
President & CEO