Dear GuideWell employees:
Last Monday, we observed Memorial Day, the holiday when Americans honor the men and women who have died defending our country’s ideals serving in the U.S. military. And last Monday, George Floyd’s tragic, shocking death reminded us all that our country has a long way to go before its central promise of equality becomes reality. Last week and all weekend, the country reeled in pain and protest at George Floyd’s death, and with anger and frustration at the racism and inequality people of color still experience in America every day.
Too many of our colleagues, and too many members of the communities we serve deeply feel that anger and frustration. I am humbled and heartbroken by their experience. All of us at GuideWell have a duty to speak up and stand with them against injustice, inequality and violence. Our mission is to help people and communities achieve better health. We cannot achieve our goal without also doing the work that needs to be done to end racism.
As many of you are aware, ASPIRE-our employee affinity group that advocates for diversity and inclusion for people of color-started a series earlier this year called “Living While Black.” They plan to use their next meeting to address the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and the profound effect these tragedies have had, particularly on the Black American community’s mental, emotional and physical well-being and sense of safety.
I plan to join them – along with other members of the senior leadership team – to share my support, of course, but more importantly to listen and to learn. In the meantime, please reach out to each other to provide comfort and caring. Don’t hesitate to avail yourself of the resources we provide through our partner New Directions Behavioral Health and the Employee Assistance Program. They are there to support you and your families.
Two of our core values are imagination and courage. It will take both to move forward from this painful moment in our country’s history. Imagination allows us to dream that our country may one day fulfill its promise. Courage propels us in that direction. I am more committed than ever to ensuring that our organization finds its strength in diversity and is an environment of equal opportunity, and more committed than ever to using the strength of our organization to help create equality in our communities and in our society.