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By: Kathy Albarado on June 2nd, 2020

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A Message From our CEO: We Are Better Than This

Communication | Diversity & Inclusion | News | Business Management & Strategy | Employee Relations

I woke up this morning and my heart hurts.  For days, we’ve been hearing about the protests of police brutality and racism that led to George Floyd’s unnecessary death.  Among the bleakness, we also hear stories about the outreach of police that drop their shields, walk into crowds, and try to assure the peaceful protesters that they are with them.  That they too strive for fairness, justice, and equality. 

Yesterday, one of our employees, an African American young woman with a passion and background in supporting diversity & inclusion, posted this on our Teams Channel: 

“Helios employees, in the spirit of ally-ship and solidarity, I want to take the time to acknowledge what is happening in our Country and in the news.  Dr. Maya Angelou said it best. “We’re more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.”  She went on to say, “I acknowledge that many of us are feeling hurt and confused as we grieve the losses of Amad Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. If Helios is the sun, we are the light.” And she encouraged us to continue to “let our light shine as we live by example through hope, love and understanding.”

As a leader, I am grateful for the spirit in which she launched what has now begun a conversation between us and will continue as a dialogue within our entire organization.  I recognize that as a white woman I have not stood in the shoes of those who are treated differently because of their race. I would like to better understand racial injustice and inequality in many respects, plaguing our country. It is a timely, important, and relevant conversation to have. 

During this unique time in global history, people are experiencing loss, anger, sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. She shared a quote with me that she read recently online, “It feels like we are grieving, and we can’t take bereavement.”  I admit, even in our organization where diversity & inclusion are highly valued, taught, and trained, gaps exist from where we are and where we want to be. 

Together, we can be better than this. 

I believe, that as leaders it is our responsibility to create a culture where people feel safe, appreciated, and encouraged.  Where we are all in an environment not to survive, but to THRIVE, to support and be supported so that we can be the people we were created to be.