A Message from Our President and CEO
The traumatic events of recent weeks — the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and protests rocking major cities across the nation — have challenged us all, often in unexpected ways. On June 12, the ongoing pain and outrage became even more tense in Atlanta, the city where our company is headquartered and where Cox has a long and proud history.
Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black father of three young daughters, was killed by a police officer in the parking lot of a local Wendy’s restaurant. The shooting is under investigation, but already one officer was fired, the police chief resigned and people have taken to the streets to protest.
I, we, all of us are here feeling, watching and reaching out with love and devotion to what we stand for. We’ve been working at it for years: We want to leave the world in a better place for the next generation. We want to bring out the best in people. We want to do it in the spirit of Cox.
Racism and discrimination have no home in our hearts or in our company. We believe in equal rights and justice and stand with all of our employees who are peacefully protesting for much needed change. Our company’s purpose is to build a better future. Doing that means playing a role in the events of today and in the years ahead.
We ask ourselves: How can we evoke the change we want in the world? By being committed to human rights, justice, empowerment and by investment — of money, but also heart and soul — into all things good.
Over the past several weeks, in both formal and informal discussions, we’ve received an incredible amount of feedback from our employees on what we can do better at Cox. There are many opinions, but one common theme is loud and clear: If you’re Black, you feel less safe than others.
This is not okay. It is our obligation as a society to provide a safe place for all people. That includes at work, in our homes and, most importantly, in the hands of the law.
There are a myriad of resources and initiatives that Cox is supporting and providing to help us and our communities make sense of the senselessness. And to be a source of inspiration and comfort for each other as we also navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few examples of our core beliefs and our actions:
- We believe in equal rights and justice for all people.
- We’ve held employee listening forums to encourage open and safe dialogue and will continue to host town halls and other ways for our employees to have candid conversations.
- We’ve committed $1 million to support social justice organizations.
- We support hate crimes legislation in Georgia and in other states where we do business. These bills would provide enhanced sentencing guidelines for anyone convicted of a crime targeting a victim based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability or physical disability.
- We’re encouraging employees to vote and support Census 2020. It’s important for everyone to stand up and be counted. Why? The census affects the amount of funding your community receives for services such as schools, hospitals and fire departments; how your community plans for the future, and your representation in government. We’re also encouraging employees to register to vote through nonpartisan groups such as Rock The Vote and we’re joining other major companies in supporting voter access across the country.
We believe that the way things have been can change and we will work together to get there.
We know there is much more work to be done and this is only the beginning of a recharged effort to ensure Cox continues to be a welcoming and inclusive space. We want to be a company on the forefront of what a truly open workplace looks like in 2020 and beyond.
Thank you for willingness to engage with us in the journey ahead.