While protests over the murder of George Floyd and systemic police brutality continue across the United States, 10 CEO’s from Detroit’s largest companies gathered to issue a statement on racism and injustice. Joining Mayor Mike Duggan and Rev. Wendell Anthony at a morning press conference, the group publicly stated that they will stand up against all forms of racism, sexism and violence, and they also committed to working toward reforms to the American justice system.
“We are here because we believe it is the responsibility of every American to speak out against the racism, and injustice we are witnessing in our country. We stand with the black community in calling for change across the nation and acknowledge the pain and loss endured by too many for far too long. Now is the time for change and we support those who are peacefully marching for it across our nation,” the group collectively shared in a statement.
The press conference comes after six straight days of protests across Detroit and the Metro Area, where demonstrators are calling for such things as a reform to the criminal justice system, justice for the officers involved in the killing of George Floyd and cutting of police budgets nationwide with more investment in community development. In sending a message to demonstrators, the CEOs pledged to use their businesses to fight racism and violence at all levels.
“We condemn the acts of injustice in the tragic murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and the many other men and women whose lives have been cut far too short,” stated the group of corporate leaders. “As a show of unity, sensitivity and our collective humanity, we declare our uncompromising support for and the application of equal justice for every American.”
Releasing ways in which they will utilize their companies to foster change, the leaders committed to the following:
- We commit ourselves and our companies to reject and work to eliminate all forms of bias, racism, sexism and violence within our companies and our communities.
- We call upon the appropriate government officials to hold accountable all individuals involved with the deaths that have occurred. Every person must be held responsible and accountable for his or her actions.
- We support the calls for an independent prosecution of those accused in order to demonstrate the fairness and eliminate any possible conflicts in the course of this judicial process.
- We will invest in programs and policies that help to transform the disparities that exist within these communities, as we remain partners in progress both locally and nationally.
The CEO’s that joined the Mayor and Rev. Anthony included, Mary Barra, Chairman & CEO, General Motors, Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company, Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America, Jay Farner, CEO of Quicken Loans, Cynthia Pasky, Founder & CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions, Wright Lassiter, President & CEO, Henry Ford Health System, Chris Ilitch, President & CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Dan Loepp, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Gerry Anderson, Executive Chairman, DTE Energy and Gary Torgow, Executive Chairman, TCF Financial Corporation.
The complete press conference and talk on racism and injustice can be found on the City of Detroit’s Facebook page.