Dear Members,

Over the last several weeks we’ve seen the racial injustice that has taken place in our country and the resulting unrest, peaceful protests and moving statements that have pushed for change in the communities where we live and work. During this challenging time, I’ve seen you and our industry speak out in many ways, including social media posts, email statements and public announcements. I applaud you for all you have done to advocate for racial equality and encourage our industry to strive for a better, fairer society.

I know many of you have sent several messages to your internal teams, your customers and your suppliers. I wanted to share what I recently sent to the AEM staff in early June:

I’m reaching out to each of you to express the deep sadness I feel for the racial injustice that has plagued our nation, resulting most recently in the frustration, violence and unrest in communities throughout the country, including where all of us, the employees of our members and their loved ones live and work.

As the leader of AEM, I believe it’s important to step forward now and firmly state that the unjust death of George Floyd is inexcusable. I don’t have all the answers, but I know we must pull together as a nation, a community and a staff to have empathy for each other and to eradicate racism from our culture, restore peace, and finally bring forth change.

Please know that no matter how you feel right now – angry, upset, scared, frustrated or confused – you are not alone. If you need time to process and deal with the current situation, feel free to reach out to your manager or to Judy for guidance and support. Or, you are welcome to contact me.

These are truly unsettling times. As we have been dealing with the devastation and uncertainty of the pandemic, now we must also collectively work towards healing and to erase the injustice of racism. I encourage each of you to do what you can do to contribute to a better, fairer society where we all can enjoy the benefits of this great nation. Positive and collective voices are empowering and impact change.

Thanks for taking the time to listen and consider these thoughts.

Together, I know we can work toward building a better future for our industry, our nation and our society. Thank you for speaking out and for your leadership.