Dear Commerce teammates,
Over the past couple of weeks, the country has watched with alarm as a number of graphic and tragic events have unfolded. These events lay bare the inequities and fear that are an everyday reality for many in our communities. As a society, we continue to grapple with the prejudice and bigotry that undermine us and divide us against each other.
In Minneapolis, the senseless killing of George Floyd has sparked nationwide protests that are, themselves, a powerful reflection of the anxiety, grief and outrage that so many of us are feeling. This, only weeks after video surfaced of the tragic and needless shooting of Ahmaud Arbery while out on a jog in Georgia. The sad fact is that injustices like these are not new. But in today’s Information Age, they are on full display. And so it is more clear than ever that there remains much work to do.
It is my hope that, as painful as it may be, the powerfully graphic nature of these injustices can catalyze the beginning of real dialogue and positive change. As a company and as a team, we can be a part of that change. In times like these, we need to recommit to our core values as an organization. Our values explicitly emphasize that we are committed to diversity and strong communities, that we communicate openly and candidly, that we trust each other and assume positive intention, and that we treat each other with respect. Racism is a scourge that has no place in our company, and when we see it, we need vigilantly to stamp it out.
Healing requires dialogue, and it is perhaps a uniquely difficult time for this given the distance that COVID has created in our communities. Please, check in with one another and be in tune with how you’re feeling. If you need someone to talk to, consider accessing our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). If you want to get more involved internally, consider joining VIBE, our multicultural Employee Resource Group. Their mission is to promote multicultural representation throughout our company by fostering an environment where team members feel valued, engaged and empowered.
I’m grateful for the trust and open communication that we enjoy at Commerce. It is up to each one of us to do our part to make our communities safer, more inclusive and more equitable. I’m committed to doing our part to support our team and our communities as we undertake the hard work ahead of us and seek to heal and to grow.