Sentara stands in solidarity: A message from President & CEO Howard Kern
The senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week has left many of my Sentara colleagues feeling saddened, angry and looking for answers. If these were isolated events, it still would be unacceptable, but these are not isolated events. It is part of a pattern of discrimination and racial inequality that has become tragically clear in the U.S. Equality, non-discrimination and equal opportunity may be our societal goals, but they are not yet equally achievable across our country.
Many of our Black family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues have been especially affected by the events of the past few weeks and I am struck by how close to home these feelings really are. People should not feel threatened in their workplace, community, neighborhood or in their own home. That is unacceptable and we must all speak up and insist that this change.
Integrity, respect, trust and caring for each other should be shared values. The real test for whether we are fully owning and honoring these values is the degree to which we all support them. I am reminded of this timeless quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” This is not a time for silence. This is a time for us to have our voices heard, to speak of progress and change, and working together. I urge you to join me in looking for actionable ways we can make our communities, and the world we live in, a better and safer place for everyone.
By: Howard Kern, President & CEO