June 11, 2020
As we have all had the chance to reflect back on the events of the past few weeks, like many, I have struggled to make sense of George Floyd’s horrific death. Peaceful protests spilled over into riots across the nation, reflecting the pain and hurt that is all too familiar to many in our communities and in the Peoples Bank family.
Unequivocally, Peoples Bank is a diverse and inclusive workplace, united by our mission and our values. There is no place for discrimination, intolerance, or harassment against anybody in the Peoples Bank family. We stand together against racism in any form. We come from different backgrounds, but all who embrace our values have our support at Peoples Bank as we live out our mission. Who you are is who we are.
In challenging times, our values guide us. This has been an opportunity for us all to listen and to better understand the issues that affect the communities we serve and where our colleagues live. While these are difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations, they are necessary. Personally, I have taken the opportunity to have some of these difficult conversations. My heart goes out to my friends and colleagues who have experienced discrimination and never felt like they could speak up. The experience of many in our community has been unjust and unfair, and I for one have been moved as I have come to better understand these experiences.
Stability calls us to treat everyone equally, regardless of background, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other attribute.
Integrity compels us to treat each other with respect and compassion.
Community invites us to listen to the concerns of the community.
Excellence inspires us to do better.
If we all look a little deeper and listen with open hearts, it is easy to see the circumstances that led us to this place of civil unrest across the country. We cannot prevent the events of the past, nor can we erase the pain that many feel in our communities. What we can do is commit to positive changes so that we can do our part to ensure we never reach this point again. We can and will be a part of the healing, so that we can be stronger together.
Our values reflect our practices. Peoples Bank will more actively listen to the diverse voices both inside and outside the company to help shape a more inclusive community. As we get “Back to Business,” we will start a new internal Diversity and Inclusion task force to explore where we can better align our culture with our values. With community partners, we can shape a more inclusive recovery as we heal from pandemic, economic hardship, and civil unrest. We will collaborate on changes that will ensure all at Peoples Bank feel supported and heard as we work together towards excellence every day. We will also develop tools and resources that help us better understand the diverse backgrounds that make up the tapestry of our company and our communities, so that we can embrace those differences as we unite in the service of our mission.
I would ask everyone to continue to reflect on ways we can help our communities be more successful, and how we can demonstrate our genuine concern for the communities we serve and where our colleagues live. I have challenged myself to do better, and would invite you all to do the same.
We have always stood for equality, and our values and actions reflect who we are as a company. This has been a moment to listen and to reflect, and we will strive for the next level of best for diversity and inclusion. We embrace our differences, connected by our values and united in our mission.
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