What happened to George Floyd was wrong. The past week’s events have once again revealed the long troubling history of racial inequality and injustice in our country. Racism of any kind is intolerable in our society. Our company has zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, harrassment and hate. Not only is valuing our differences of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, perspectives, styles and thought important to create an environment where everyone can thrive, it is healthy for us as individuals. We can only be at our best if we interact effectively and respectfully with each other and truly value each other. We must do more than tolerate our differences, we must embrace them. We must do more than simply say we are anti racism but show our determination in actions and deeds.
At our core, we are a people company that happens to be in the real estate business. Simply stated, that means that people are our most valuable asset and that we continually seek ways to empower our employees. All of us have a responsibility to ensure we have a community and workplace where everyone can be at their best. Being a people company means that how we treat each other is crucial. It also means that when we see someone mistreated we have an obligation to say something- to speak up. To be silent is to be complicit.
What does this look like at our company?
We will not be silent if we observe unacceptable behavior.
We seek to understand our differences – whether that difference is in race, culture, perspective, style or thought.
We avoid making generalizations about others and seek to understand the context of other’s perspectives.
We seek to create a diverse, welcoming and inclusive environment.
We are sensitive to cultural norms, expectations, and ways of communicating and seek feedback from others to ensure we are not treating others unfairly.
These principles are what we believe in. We should live by them at work and at home. We should keep them in mind when we’re dealing with colleagues, tenants, investors, partners, regulators or anyone else for that matter. Please take some time to reflect on how your actions impact others. Self-awareness is the bedrock for growth, development and taking on new challenges. All of us have the responsibility to love our neighbors as we would want them to love us.
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Dr. Martin Luther King
With sadness and hope,