Last week I sent an email to all Gore Associates around the world addressing racism and the senseless killing of George Floyd. It was a message of sorrow, unity and hope. It was a call to action to listen, so that those who are able to help, understand what help looks like. And as I listened, I learned that we need to say more, we need to do more.
W. L. Gore & Associates was founded on a belief that technology and humanity intersect to amplify the impact we can make on society. Today, we express those foundations of who we are, and also who we aspire to be in a promise, Together, improving life. The injustices facing black Americans have made it clear that some of our Associates, our partners, our customers and our communities cannot fully experience “together,” and improve life, until we confront racism.
As intellectually and emotionally difficult as it can be to admit – I believe that many, and maybe most of us hold racial biases. I pledge to further explore bias and racism with my colleagues and friends so that we can address the fundamentals that continue to get in the way of an environment that is inclusive for all. To effect change, we will need to lead with courage and confront this together.
Black lives matter, and Gore will continue to invest in helping our Associates understand why we must demonstrate that black lives matter, before we can celebrate that all lives matter. Our commitment will include partnering with local officials to foster a safe and just environment. We are also hosting “Conversations for Understanding” to promote discussion and learning among Associates. And we have created a forum for Associates to put forth ideas and initiate efforts to help to create and sustain a more just workplace and community. We know we will need to do more.
To black colleagues and community members, we see the injustice, including the disproportionate COVID-19 impact on the black community. We recognize it is weighing on you and we stand with you. Together, we can bring about lasting change.
Jason E. Field