I want to start this week’s Town Hall by talking about life in 2020.
Over the past few months, we’ve faced the deadly COVID virus. Forty million Americans have lost their jobs. This has been our reality. And we have recently been reminded about something else that is our reality. The killing of yet another black person – this time his name is George Floyd – is heartbreaking. It is senseless. And it is a reminder that still, in 2020, racism exists.
I go back to part of our vision statement – our commitment to ‘improve our communities through our support of causes we care about.’ Eliminating racism is a cause that we all have to care about if it is ever going to change. Support the efforts in your communities to be part of the change.
I recently read a statement by Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow that resonated with me and made me think about what I believe. I encourage all of you to do the same. To think about what you believe at this critical time in our world.
Here’s what I came up with:
- I believe that we – as WB citizens – do the right thing.
- I believe that each of you treat each other respectfully and without bias.
- I believe that we have created a positive culture, and that discrimination has no place in our WB family. It never has and it never will never be tolerated.
- I believe that we cannot be silent. That protesting is productive. That solidarity is powerful. That uniting against hatred will affect the change that needs to happen. Hear this: Change…Needs…To Happen.
- I believe that the violence we have seen in our cities over the past few nights divides us even further. It hurts a nation already deeply hurting. Violence from police and violence from protestors has got to stop.
- I believe in the goodness of people in our communities. All people. And that includes law enforcement.
- I believe in the power of knowledge and ideas to affect change. We are all smart people doing great work. Use your knowledge and great work for positive change in whatever way is most meaningful to you in this situation.
This is just some of what I believe. And I hope you will pause during these times to think about what you believe. Even more importantly, I hope you will find the determination to act on your beliefs—to repair our communities, and eliminate hate and racism.
I encourage you to share with me what you are thinking. I encourage you to send me ideas about what you are going to do to affect change.
I leave you with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.”
-David Bonifacic, CEO, WB Engineers+Consultants