Our Members have made statements opposing racism in all its forms, aiming to draw more attention to the actions and commitments being made throughout our region and encourage others to do their part. As we unite in our efforts, we commit to the vision that our differences indeed make us stronger.
Our hearts are heavy as we continue to mourn and grieve the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many more unnamed here who have been affected by racial violence, both recently and through the years. The recent events surrounding racial injustice in our communities and the country have sparked various forms of activism challenging the systems and structures built on racist ideologies that are as old as the nation itself. As an organization, we share your anger, fear, sadness, and disappointment over the acts of racism and injustice. The leadership team has vowed to face pain with purpose. We know that we cannot act as though it is business as usual because it is not.
The change needed that will create equity and justice in this country will not happen quickly – these are long-term systems and undertakings requiring the ability to recognize and speak out against racism, to build relationships across different sectors of our community, and begin to see the steps we can take individually and collectively to work toward change.
There will be difficult conversations in the days and weeks that lie ahead. We’ll continue to work to create space for these discussions because they are important. Let us all try to take a little extra time today – and in the days that will follow – to show empathy and kindness to ourselves, to our colleagues, to our clients, and to our community partners as we work through this difficult time together.
Many of us have felt deep personal pain, fear, and frustration about the distressing events taking place in our country. On behalf of our leadership team, I would like to acknowledge and affirm the strong emotions arising from the horrific and senseless death of George Floyd. To our entire CFC family, especially our co-workers of color, we commit our support and add our voices to the millions across the country calling for swift justice against those responsible for killing him. And as important, we add our voices to the call for reform of a system that is undeniably broken.
We also recognize that the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others that have not gained national attention, are the most repulsive manifestations of racial injustice which have plagued our nation for much too long. More than 50 years have gone by since the Civil Rights movement and yet this country not only tolerates, but somehow continues to cultivate racial bias and injustice so deep and insidious that these tragedies continue. We understand the anger people feel, and support peaceful protests calling for change.
The national headlines also put a spotlight on another painful milestone last week, when the number of U.S. fatalities from COVID-19 surpassed 100,000 in just four months. More than 23,000 of the people who died are African American, nearly double what we should expect based on their share of the population. Infections are also much higher among Hispanics and Latinos than we should expect. In other words, the pandemic shines a bright light on health and income disparities that have gone hand-in-hand with racial inequities throughout our country’s history. We see these disparities through the work we do at CFC every day and remain committed to doing our part to assure that health care, housing, and employment opportunities are available to all.
As we attempt to process all of this, I will remind you that free and confidential services are available to you through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP); please use them if it could benefit you or any member of your family during these stressful times. Also, CFC leaders will begin conversations with individuals and groups such as our Racial Equity committee about how the agency can best respond at this challenging time and welcome your suggestions about what you need. We know that none of us individually can solve these systemic and devastating wrongs, but we can and must find ways to be part of the change needed to make real and lasting progress. I know that the staff of Catholic Family Center cares deeply and when we put our collective minds and wills together, we can have a significant and positive impact.
Assuring you of our deep respect and concern for you and your families,
Marlene and the Senior Leadership Team
Racist actions against people of color have permeated our country since its founding. We have been here so many times before, when change has been called for, promised, and never fulfilled. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and, most recently, David McAtee are the most recent examples of this.
The protest that was organized in our community by Black Lives Matter on Saturday was an inspiring moment when thousands took a stand, marched, and raised their voices to say, “No more.” We stand with our Black employees, customers, and community members who experience the continuing racism that has led to the lack of equity in employment opportunities, education, housing, health outcomes, laws, and law enforcement in Black and Brown communities throughout Rochester, and across the nation.
We must, and will, hold ourselves accountable to be an agent of change as an active member of our community because we believe that a healthy, resilient, and equitable Greater Rochester region for all residents must be achieved. We will work as an ally and advocate to those fighting to realize equity and equality. We will ensure that equity continues to be embedded into all our work—from the customer experience, to our products, to our internal culture, to our investments in community impact initiatives.
No one person or organization can do this alone. Collective, community-wide action to put an end to these inequities must exist if we are to bring about the change that is so sorely needed. We urge all of Greater Rochester to speak up and take action.
An equitable community for every resident must be our collective mission. But as long as racism persists throughout our lives, our systems, our institutions, then that cannot be.
That cannot be acceptable. Not to any of us.
Let this be the moment where we all make change a reality – BLACK LIVES MATTER.
NCBI Rochester adds its voice to the many organizations in the greater Rochester region and across the nation condemning the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor while being detained by police or perpetrators acting on their behalf. We are coming to the realization that there are two pandemics in our midst: the COVID-19 virus and the virus of institutional racism. As an organization committed to ending racism in all its forms, we grieve the loss of human life, the violence of hate and the trauma inflicted upon communities of color generation after generation.
We are united as a community. We welcome your partnership and creative thinking as we commit to uphold and sustain a just and equitable society for all. No more silos. No more denial. Nothing less than restoring our full humanity. Deep listening, compassionate engagement and bold acts of courage are what will lead us to that reality.
It is Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York’s (PPCWNY) commitment to actively work against racism, oppression and white supremacy. As an organization, we understand and acknowledge that the very foundation of this country was built on systemic racism and the free labor of enslaved Black people. We understand and acknowledge that white supremacy and systemic racism permeate every American institution – including our own. PPCWNY publicly recognizes and names the well-documented racism and violence of our organization’s past — from experiments on Black bodies; to testing the birth control pill on low-income women in Puerto Rico often without their consent; to the forced sterilization of Black women; to the lack of access to sexual and reproductive freedom that persists for Black women and many women of color today. We cannot address structural racism or white supremacy in this country without continuing to look inward and making changes within our own organization.
PPCWNY stands in solidarity with those demanding change and racial equity. As we grow wiser in these moments, we will use our power, privilege and position as public health leaders to care for, and to protect Black communities and communities of color —no matter what. Planned Parenthood stands publicly and proudly in solidarity with those working to dismantle white supremacy and raise structural racism as a public health crisis.
Paychex is dedicated to fostering a culture of intentional Inclusion and Diversity (I&D). This lies within our strong sense of belonging and opportunity for all, unique employee benefits, and inclusive work environments. Through embracing individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talents, we deliver first-class service with agility and innovative solutions.
Our valued employees and commitment to I&D is the essence of our internal and external success. Inclusivity is a key value of our corporate culture and is exemplified through our reputation as a top employer for employee development, diversity, and ethics, as well as a laser focus on fairness in recruitment, selection, and decision making.
The Rochester Museum & Science Center is committed to taking a stance against racism by teaching about and addressing racism through exhibits and community-based work and programs. In addition to engaging in anti-racist education, the RMSC is also committed to confronting the historic and contemporary impacts and prevalence of structural, institutional, and individual racism in our society by collaborating with organizations and individuals of diverse backgrounds, ages, communities of origin, and abilities on program and exhibit development. The RMSC is dedicated to becoming a diverse and inclusive community resource where authentic voices are valued and represented.
As part of this work, we have worked with Black, Latinx, Asian, Haudenosaunee, and other Indigenous communities to create several exhibitions and programs which highlight diverse stories and social issues. These include: Take it Down! Organizing Against Racism, Objectively Racist: How Objects and Images Perpetuate Racism… And What We Can Do To Change It, The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World, Haudenosaunee Days, A Journey Through Time in African American History, and others.
The RMSC also continues to create and cultivate relationships with Native American communities through NAGPRA consultation and the repatriation of ancestors and cultural heritage objects back to those communities with which they belong. It is a priority for the RMSC to develop meaningful relationships with Native American communities based on respect and trust with the understanding and acknowledgment that as an institution we are founded upon the exclusions and erasures of many indigenous peoples, including the Seneca people whose land the institution is located.
Internally, the staff and Trustees of the RMSC have created a Board and Staff Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to ensure that our job posting, hiring, interviewing, and selection process is free of any bias. The RMSC is committed to taking an active role in seeking more Black, Indigenous, and other People of color to fill open job positions and serve as Trustees for our Board of Directors to ensure inclusion at all levels of operations.
At Trillium Health, we are committed to delivering health care to all. Since our founding days, we have stood up for those who have been marginalized or neglected. It is a torch we continue to carry in hopes of lighting a path forward to achieve equity for all.
Racism should have no part in our society, however we are continually and painfully reminded - it remains deeply entrenched in our country and our communities. We must work together to tackle this hatred head-on and replace it with compassion, understanding, and respect.
The violence, unrest, and immense trauma continues as our nation demands further progress on racial equity and justice. The time is now to unite for a systemic change to address racism in our society.
Trillium Health works to achieve this through our President’s Council for Inclusiveness and Diversity and our participation in the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. Now, we are proud to also stand with the Greater Rochester Black Agenda Group and its declaration that “Racism is a Public Health Crisis.”
We invite other organizations to stand united with us so that together we can work to affect structural change in our society and eliminate racial and other health inequities.
We write you today to share our sadness, anger and fear, and to tell you that if you are feeling the same you are not wrong. You are not wrong to feel a sense of immense loss and grief over the murder of George Floyd. You are not wrong to feel angry, hopeless, and frustrated with the structural and systemic racism that creates barriers to opportunity and inspires ignorance, bigotry, and violence. You are not wrong to feel outrage when you see the video of a white woman calling the police on Christian Cooper, simply for asking her to put her dog on a leash.
It is okay to feel what you’re feeling. We are feeling it too. At a time when our country is facing the greatest health crisis in a generation—a crisis that is disproportionately killing black and brown people—we are forced to deal with painful reminders of hate and discrimination.
But we also write today to tell you that you are not alone. We are concerned for those in our community who are grieving and who are afraid. We can assure you that you are part of a University of Rochester community that cares for you, respects you, and wants you to succeed. We know our community is not perfect. It is subject to the same social challenges that we see in cities and communities across the country. But we take comfort in knowing that our institution will always strive to do better.
In light of the recent events in Minneapolis and around the country, however, it is clear that words of acknowledgement and comfort are not enough. Community-engaged action is needed. We must continue to educate and empower each other to be committed champions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In the coming weeks, the Office of Equity and Inclusion will produce a series of roundtable podcasts to bring together the voices and views of our community. It is our hope that these open, honest, and courageous conversations will be a platform to discuss real issues through a racial and social justice lens. More than just talk, we intend to have conversations that inspire action.
Lastly, we want to say that it is okay if you are struggling. We have all been witness to egregious acts of hate and intolerance in recent days, but these incidents follow years – centuries – of injustice. We encourage you to contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion so we can help connect you with the appropriate resources. Of course, if you are a student at the University of Rochester, the University Counseling Center (UCC) and the CARE Resource Center are available to help. If you are an employee, you can find services and support through the Employee Assistance Program.
Wishing you all peace and strength in solidarity,
Sarah C. Mangelsdorf
When we reflect on recent and devastating events surrounding the death of George Floyd, along with the history of injustice towards the Black community, we are especially concerned about how this must be affecting our people, our customers, and the communities we serve. We’ve reached out to many of our people during this time and we’ve heard from many more. We’ve had various conversations to help us understand how to show our support and solidarity and how we can grow. We listened and we heard, and we have more work to do. So, as we seek to understand more fully, together, we will learn what changes and improvements we need to make as a company.
We come together and stand with the Black community in condemning racial injustice of any kind, and reiterate we have zero tolerance for racial discrimination at Wegmans.
We recognize our country needs to eliminate this injustice entirely, and truly be a great place to live for all. We believe that the best way for us to affect this change is to continue on our journey to be the best possible place to work for all people – and the best place to shop where all feel welcome.
We are a family company, brought together by a strong sense of shared values that are as important today as ever before. Our values begin with caring, high standards, and respect for all people. We believe these values are the root of our success and we all help to make a difference when we each live our values more visibly. We are committed to continuous improvement, and we make the commitment, every day you get our best.
The YMCA of Greater Rochester is committed to being a part of the solution.
The Y is FOR ALL and we don't tolerate racism. The YMCA of Greater Rochester is a place where every member of our community can peacefully come together, unite, and build a stronger us.
Our Y core values from a platform that strengthens the foundations of our community through the promotion of equity and equitable youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
The YMCA of Greater Rochester will continue to listen. We will continue to learn. We are committed to action and standing up against racism, prejudice, and violence in the communities we serve.
Black Lives Matter.
And we are committed to bring a part of the solution.
YWCA’s commitment to racial justice and civil rights runs deep. We’ve been at the forefront of the biggest issues facing the greater Rochester community for 137 years - from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, and from violence prevention to health care reform.
Today, YWCA remains committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal protection under the law, and our intersectional mission to eliminate racism and empower women demands that advocate against the oppression that many groups and individuals endure, including through recognizing the interconnected experiences of discrimination and disadvantage that women face from their overlapping identities. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities and lead to criminalization and often the death of people of color.
At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.
Workforce Diversity Network
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