6 April2021

Letter from the CEO on Racism, Hate, and Discrimination

by Kate Visconti

As someone who takes time to process my emotional reactions to the social injustices in the world around me, I continue to reflect on how we each have our own approach to begin healing after witnessing acts of violence and hatred. Unfortunately all too often, another hate crime or social injustice occurs. As I listen to news reports or read through the various motives or explanations, I try to find some peace in understanding. But to me, and those who see the world the way I do, there is no reason that I can accept treating others in any other way than how I want to be treated - as a human who deserves equal rights, freedoms, and to feel safe in my community. To me, there is no explanation for hatred, violence, and discrimination. There is no "why" that makes harming innocent people understandable, let alone acceptable.

For this reason, I know I cannot promote prolonged silence. So, I will start with me and how I am complicit to this global problem if I don't break my own silence. I know I have to take a stand. I know we cannot drive change without awareness and a deep desire to stop social injustices and hate crimes. I can take no pause in working toward equality - it will be a relentless pursuit for me and our team to fight alongside those who are marginalized and discriminated against.

Expressing where I stand on global racism, discrimination, violence, and infringements on human rights has no expiration date. We will make bold statements, offering a louder voice for those who cannot express theirs. We will continue to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion to fulfill our purpose and uphold it every single day by how we treat one another. I believe we must commit to a relentless and unwavering pursuit toward equality, as part of our core, living from that positive energy and place of compassion. It is a way of living every single day, 24 hours a day, demonstrating love, kindness, support, and solidarity by who we are in every moment.

What is happening today with the rise in hate crimes toward the AAPI community may not be, as some may call it, "my issue." But if I stand by watching when I see these social injustices continue, how can I hope someone will stand up for me when it is not their issue? As you read through educational resources and find ways you can help, please be brave, and do something. Speak up, speak out, and please find it in your heart to take action. This can be reaching out to friends who need you, donating to organizations that serve marginalized communities, and taking time to understand more ways in which you can help. If you need some support, please let me know. Our hearts and support are with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

We will call on our greater communities to:

  1. Report an incident if you are a witness to a hate crime.
  2. Work with your colleagues, schools, faith-based institutions, unions, or community organizations to encourage everyone to work towards racial justice for all.
  3. Address these challenging times with empathy, compassion, and loving kindness.

To learn about more ways you can prevent and report hate crimes, please use the resources below:

https://stopaapihate.org

https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/preventing-hate-crimes-your-community

https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/learn-about-hate-crimes

https://www.humanrightsfirst.org/sites/default/files/Ten-Point-Plan-english.pdf?id=157

https://www.splcenter.org/20171005/splc-campus-guide-bystander-intervention#important%20reminders

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

https://www.splcenter.org/reporthate

 

Thank you for being a part of our purpose-driven collective. I am grateful for you and the strength you give me to speak out and drive positive change.

 

Kate

 

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