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Ford letter to staff: ‘We can not flip a blind eye’ to ‘tragic demise’ of George Floyd and America’s systemic racism

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Ford letter to employees: 'We cannot turn a blind eye' to 'tragic death' of George Floyd and America's systemic racism

Jim Hackett, president and chief government officer of Ford Motor Co.

Andrew Harrer | AnotherBillionaire Information | One other Billionaire Information

Ford Motor Govt Chairman Invoice Ford and CEO Jim Hackett despatched a letter to staff concerning what they known as the “tragic killing of George Floyd” in addition to the coronavirus pandemic and America’s “systemic racism.”

“There aren’t any simple solutions. We aren’t excited by superficial actions. That is our second to steer from the entrance and absolutely decide to creating the honest, simply and inclusive tradition that our staff deserve,” Monday’s letter mentioned.

It mentioned Ford leaders all through the nation will maintain dialogues with their groups “to grasp how individuals are feeling and focus on how we are able to get higher collectively.”

“And whereas we wish to say that racism has no place in our society, we all know that systemic racism nonetheless exists regardless of the progress that has been made,” the letter mentioned. “We can not flip a blind eye to it or settle for some sense of ‘order’ that is based mostly on oppression.”

Invoice Ford, Govt Chairman and Chairman of the Board for Ford Motor Firm.

Geoff Robins | AFP | One other Billionaire Information

The message was despatched Monday afternoon earlier than President Donald Trump threatened to herald the army if states and cities fail to deliver an finish to protests and riots throughout the nation following Floyd’s demise.

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for almost 9 minutes throughout an arrest regardless of cries that he couldn’t breathe.

Ford joins different corporations equivalent to Apple and Snap in addressing staff concerning Floyd’s demise. Different corporations equivalent to Amazon and Nike have launched statements and messages as nicely with combined reactions.

Ford Chief Communications Officer Mark Truby mentioned late Monday the letter was despatched to all the automaker’s staff globally and posted on the corporate’s inner intranets. In an electronic mail to AnotherBillionaire Information, he mentioned response from staff “has been very optimistic.”

Ford’s message additionally addressed the coronavirus pandemic’s influence on black communities, citing “the legacy of financial disparities in our own residence metropolis of Detroit.”

Michigan, particularly Detroit, was severely impacted by Covid-19. Greater than two dozen United Auto Employees members with the Detroit automakers have died from the illness.

Here is a full copy of the message from Hackett and Invoice Ford, great-grandson of firm founder Henry Ford:

Ford Group,

That is a rare second in our historical past. Suddenly, we’re grappling with a public well being disaster that has claimed a whole lot of hundreds of lives, an financial shock that has pressured us to adapt on the fly, and social upheaval that has difficult all of us to suppose and act in a different way.

Within the midst of this, the tragic killing of George Floyd, compounded by different mindless killings through the years, has sparked the expression of a long time of collective anger and frustration over the unacceptable abuse of energy and authority. This ache is felt throughout the communities our staff name residence.

There isn’t any doubt that the load of those challenges disproportionately fall on the black group. We now have seen this disparity amongst our personal Ford staff members affected by COVID-19, and the legacy of financial disparities in our own residence metropolis of Detroit. It’s ache that lots of our staff members have lengthy felt of their every day lives.

There aren’t any simple solutions. We aren’t excited by superficial actions. That is our second to steer from the entrance and absolutely decide to creating the honest, simply and inclusive tradition that our staff deserve.

Ford, and our labor companions, particularly the UAW, have proven management on range and inclusion through the years. Constructing on this, and the work of the Ford Motor Firm Fund in black communities, there may be way more we are able to do collectively.

As we speak is the beginning of a good deeper dialogue inside Ford on these important points. We will probably be assembly with staff throughout the corporate, together with participating with the Ford African Ancestry Community (FAAN). We additionally plan to ask leaders all through the corporate to carry dialogues with their groups to grasp how individuals are feeling and focus on how we are able to get higher collectively. We promise to share updates as we proceed on this journey. 

We’re an organization made up of extraordinary individuals of each race, faith, and background, all worthy of the identical dignity. We view our variations as one among our nice strengths. We’re a staff – not in phrase, however in bond.

And whereas we wish to say that racism has no place in our society, we all know that systemic racism nonetheless exists regardless of the progress that has been made. We can not flip a blind eye to it or settle for some sense of “order” that is based mostly on oppression. 

Many people can not know what it’s really wish to be a part of a group of coloration, to know what it’s wish to be afraid for our kids each time they go away the home, or to fret that today is likely to be our final. However so long as so lots of our colleagues, our buddies, reside with that worry, how can we reside with ourselves? So long as we’ve the privilege to breathe, it is on all of us to summon new ranges of empathy and humanity.

Lastly, we need to say to anybody battling worry and despair, we’ve sources that may assist. Please go to @FordOnline and see beneath for extra info.

In a time of hardship and upheaval, one factor is for sure: we stay a household and an organization that’s stronger collectively and dedicated to racial and social justice.

Thanks for all you do for Ford Motor Firm.

Invoice and Jim