A little over 10 months ago, I shared a personal statement regarding the issues of racism and injustice in our communities – issues that have existed for a long time, but at that time, had been elevated by the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd.
Yesterday’s conviction of the ex-officer who killed Mr. Floyd is definitely a measure of justice. One that historically has not always been evident to so many in our community – in particular, those from communities of color and even more specifically, Black communities
I hope all that has happened in the past year, including yesterday’s conviction, is a catalyst for the change we need to see in holding people accountable for their actions, which leads to justice, and hopefully restoration. Most importantly, this is an opportunity for us to drive out the ignorance and hate that continues to plague our communities.
We must shine a light on the policies, implicit bias and silent voices that continue to stifle opportunity and access. We must face head on and dismantle the systems that provide fertile soil for these injustices to thrive and grow deeper roots. In the words of James Baldwin, “not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
In my communication from last year, I talked about how strongly the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are connected to our purpose at Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. I shared that while there is no certainty in life, there is commitment, and we can each commit to being better and doing better.
Our shared purpose, “to help people see possibilities, seize opportunities, and prosper,” is about commitment.
A commitment to partner with individuals and families who are working hard to achieve their goals and achieve prosperity. A commitment to partner with them in a way that promotes dignity and builds on the inherent strengths everyone possesses. A commitment to serve others with excellence regardless of their background, circumstance, or color of their skin.
We commit ourselves every day to ensure Goodwill is a welcoming and inclusive place to shop, donate, receive services, and especially, to work. We want everyone to have a sense of belonging. We are here for you – and you have a place here.
Lastly, I want to reiterate my personal commitment to continue to lead this organization in a way that upholds and elevates our shared purpose. That encourages and supports positive dialogue around issues of equity and justice and promotes action that creates positive change in our organization, community, and country.
President & CEO