Over the last two weeks, the murder of George Floyd has broken our hearts, devastated our collective conscience, and sparked levels of protest and outrage our country hasn’t seen in 50 years. The eyes of the country have been opened anew to the realities of systemic racism and police brutality. And all of this against the backdrop of the greatest health and economic crisis of our lifetimes, which is disproportionately affecting and killing African Americans and other communities of color.
We understand that to be silent is to be complicit in the systems and individual acts of oppression that have done so much harm to nonwhite people, in particular Black people, in our country. Silence is therefore unacceptable. Our employees, our clients, and the communities we serve need to know where we stand. Here’s where we stand:
- Systemic racism and social injustice are real, and all too easily and often ignored by the people who are least affected by them.
- Black lives matter, and Black people deserve to live their best lives in peace and without fear of being harassed, harmed, imprisoned, or killed.
- Change begins with us. We must actively work to challenge racism in ourselves, in our communities, and in our policies. We pledge to learn more so we can know better and do better.
The problems of systemic racism and social injustice are our problems—all of ours—and we recommit to share the burden of working to fix them. We are committed to creating and maintaining an agency culture in which diversity, equity, and inclusion are valued in every aspect of our operations.
We are beginning our work by taking the following actions:
- Scheduling implicit bias training for all employees as soon as possible
- Increasing the annual Voluntary Time Off allowance to two days this year for any employee that wants to take a day off specifically to support causes that work to reduce inequities and support communities of color
- Refocusing our efforts on increasing diversity and inclusion at Civilian
- Bringing in subject-matter experts to speak to Civilian staff about marketing to diverse audiences, including African American and Latinx communities
We embrace this moment as a clarion call for much-needed change. We see it as an opportunity to live out our mission of creating change for the common good. The time is now.