The news of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent outpouring of anger and emotion have affected us all. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated incident, and we all need to take time to reflect and then act to end systemic racism and bias in all forms.
As I have personally reflected on these issues I have had some realizations. As many of you know I grew up in northern Maine. I think I had 4 people of color in my high school. Maybe as a result I have never really had racist feelings. I have many friends and family members of different race, creed and sexual orientation. I have never really thought much about racism. What I have realized over the last week is because I don’t think much about race, I am actually part of the problem. I am planning to lean in on these issues personally.
As most of you know, last year, we launched our V12 Values, a set of principles that put a stake in the ground about what we believe and to guide our interactions with each other and with our clients and partners.
One of these values is Community, and we said
- We are courteous, respectful, and responsive to each other.
- We are inclusive so everyone feels like they belong here.
- We seek and consider diverse opinions.
- We contribute to the communities in which we work and live.
- We proactively build and nurture awesome relationships inside and outside the business.
Now’s the time to put this—and all our values– into more demonstrable action. As one small first step, I and the rest of the leadership team have made donations to various charities including Black Lives Matter, the United Way, and other local organizations to help fund their efforts to end racial injustice, to re-build communities impacted by poverty and violence, and to build a new and better social landscape that celebrates inclusion and diversity. Please consider joining us, if you are willing and able. In addition, Anne is creating some ways that we can facilitate company-wide discussion and to give voice to your ideas. Listening, dialog, and action help the light get in.
Let’s all take this time to reflect and to learn how we can help eliminate injustice wherever we find it, to demonstrate kindness and empathy, and to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I am constantly amazed at the quality of our people, the commitment that you have to your colleagues, to your families, and to your communities. Thank you for all you do.
Andy Frawley, CEO, V12