As a young girl in 1968, I watched as our world seemed to be erupting in ways I could hardly imagine. Nightly images on the family television showed tragedy after tragedy. As the Vietnam war escalated, so too did the horrific images being seen in our own country. Great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated and we watched as peaceful protesters were beaten, hosed, and even killed for wanting the same liberty and freedoms enjoyed by those whose skin color was not black.

Fast forward 52 years and the collective horror we feel following the murder of George Floyd irrevocably proves that racism and inequality remain alive and well in our nation. For us to heal and even begin to finally address systemic racism and move forward as a nation, we must first acknowledge this and commit to change, both as individuals and corporations. The past proves that this won’t be easy, but we are at a crossroads where we all must choose the future we want for our country.

Personally, I know that I can and will do more to fight against racial injustice. We all wake up every day with the opportunity to be leaders and educators. We can fight misinformation with facts, we can have productive and empathic conversations with those we may not agree with. We can listen with our hearts and commit ourselves to understanding the shoes others walk in. And we can commit ourselves to being change-makers through action that helps heal and lift up those whose pain we can’t even begin to imagine.

At CMR, we stand against racism and inequality in all its forms. We are committed to helping shape a more just society. Change is needed and it must begin now.

Michelle O’Connor
CMR President & CEO

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