This is a deeply painful and heartbreaking time for our nation. Disturbing videos of the murders of African Americans George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the shocking treatment of Christian Cooper in New York City have rightfully provoked fear, anger and outrage across the U.S. This comes at a time of other saddening instances of racism and the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
For many of our associates, this has understandably been a difficult, sad and exhausting time. The frequency of these types of horrific events demonstrate that racism is still very present in this country. Racism, hate or intolerance have no place at Perdue Farms. We condemn acts of racism and bigotry of any kind.
Perdue Farms is an incredibly diverse company with associates from more than 13 countries, bringing different points of view that strengthen our company and our communities. We are proud that our strength comes from our diversity, and that will never change.
To our associates who are grappling with the emotions that surround these deeply concerning events:
We hear you, and we are here for you. We must be here for each other.
Our strength will be derived from coming together, not from pulling away from each other. We must understand each other’s point of view. While we admittedly cannot always fully understand the depths of each other’s pain, we recognize how personal this is for you - our African American colleagues - your families and your loved ones. At this moment, the most important thing we can do is strive to fully understand each other better. Our experiences, our points of view, our feelings, our fears and our needs.
We have professional counselors that you can speak with about this confidentially, and they are available 24/7 as a free resource via our Employee Assistance Program. Additionally, at nearly all of our locations, we have Diversity and Inclusion leaders who can address your concerns or help you when needed.
At Perdue Farms, it is important to not just talk about diversity and inclusion, but to lead by example and action. Our commitment to fostering diversity, inclusion and understanding will continue, even while managing through the COVID-19 pandemic. As recent events demonstrate, this important work must continue, and our initiatives to ensure Diversity and Inclusion remain a top priority. We must continue the tough conversations to increase understanding and embrace differences. We challenge our Diversity and Inclusion Council, and each and every one of you, to continue with the conversations and ideas spurred on by our Day of Understanding earlier this year.
Additionally, we welcome suggestions on this topic from anyone inside or outside of our company. Suggestions that we can put into action to ensure that all people feel safe, valued, and equal. While that should not be something we even have to state, it must be loud and clear: SAFE, VALUED, and EQUAL!
Please email Kathryn Dank to share any ideas you may have that can support these efforts.
VP, HR -Chief Diversity Officer