Originally published on newscenter.td.com.
Dear Colleagues, Customers and Communities:
The tragic deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky have brought unbearable pain and suffering to their families, friends and the Black community. We condemn violence in any form, and as a country, the death of each of these individuals has hurt us immensely as they have further exposed the deeply ingrained, long-standing unresolved societal issue of racism.
During a time where the COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to heightened stress and disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, especially the Black community, this added wave of fear of unjustified killings only rips us apart more.
Time for Change. Time for Action.
I sincerely believe that to solve these systemic challenges, we must understand and embrace our differences, our backgrounds and our beliefs. There is only one way we can tackle the issues that caused these tragedies: together. There is a lot of pain in our communities right now and as a white man, it is important to pause and acknowledge the pain and anguish that our Black Colleagues are feeling.
Speaking out against anti-Black racism and having uncomfortable conversations must happen. But with recent events, it is more important than ever to create dialogue and talk about this issue. We must continue to listen and learn from one another in safe and inclusive environments―and with respect for different perspectives and backgrounds. Racial injustice in the United States is not something we can ignore. It is not a them or another group’s issue, it’s our collective issue.
It’s important for us to forge alliances to bring about real, sustainable change. We signed the CEO Action Pledge because we know we can do better. As a company, we are cultivating an environment where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed, respected and protected―where colleagues feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion. And through The TD Ready Commitment, we are working to address economic, health and other inequities in our diverse communities.
Our Pledge to You.
In addition to the pledge, we are looking for ways to provide an outlet for our Colleagues to express how they feel, especially during times of unrest and uncertainty. We want to provide a safe, non-judgmental space, for our Colleagues to express their outrage, concerns and fears.
What has happened is heartbreaking and unacceptable, but I believe, as a nation, we can get through this together. My hope in humanity runs deep. It’s not easy, particularly at times like this. But, I’ve seen at TD Bank, how we are stronger together. I believe that we as a nation can be most powerful when every voice is heard, respected and protected. I will do all I can to make that happen, and I ask you to do the same.