To all Geocent employees,

As you know, the world is in a state of unrest. We are vulnerable and exhausted by anxiety, first from a global pandemic, and now a call to action to do better as human beings. We must reflect on our actions, both active and passive. For many of us, it may be a new feeling. Perhaps that uneasy feeling is right; maybe it will lead to deeper understanding and trust.

I want to take the time to acknowledge my thoughts, values, and goals, both for myself as an individual and for the company. I have spent many hours in the past few weeks having blunt, honest conversations with Black friends, some of which I have known for over 30 years. I have watched, read, and listened in an attempt to educate myself on why this is still happening. I have also struggled with whether to communicate with our employees about this and, if so, what do I say?

One thing is very clear in my mind: We have to put in the hard work to end brutality, racism, and inequities. They have no place in our society and certainly not in our company. This is not a political statement, just a comment about human dignity and compassion. Geocent has always tried to recognize the value of our employees, all employees, above all else. Our employees are the lifeblood of our company. But we still have a long way to go in ensuring that all employees have the same opportunities.

I want to be direct about where we stand as a company:

    • Black lives matter to us. Diversity is hugely important, and we don't have enough yet. We fully admit we still have work to do. Many of us, I included, thought saying “all lives matter” was OK or perhaps even more in line with my Christian upbringing. I was wrong. As long as Black lives are undervalued by our country, saying all lives matter fails to acknowledge that inequity. I commend to you the simple picture below and article at the end of this email, one of thousands on this topic.

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  • We condemn police brutality. This statement makes a lot of people uncomfortable, but it should not be controversial to say police have no right to inflict physical and emotional warfare against Black individuals. Sadly, this is the world many Americans live in today. Yes, we support the large majority of police who are kind and trusted public servants. But as long as there is ingrained organizational and systemic racial bias in our justice system, we can never be truly united as a nation.

  • We oppose systemic racism, which permeates our current societal structure. Education, healthcare, law enforcement, and employment are all places where some Americans are at a disadvantage because of their skin color or gender. It needs to change.

  • We need change. I hope these issues stay at the forefront of the national conversation. I hope our fervor does not fade, unlike the past. I hope it doesn’t go away, as it has for every other Black person who has died due to racism; like it does every time a student shoots up a school; when anyone faces discrimination for their sexual orientation; or like it does every day that women have to put up with sexual harassment.

We also admit that our words alone won't help these issues. So many today speak about listening to and amplifying the Black voices in our midst on these issues. So Geocent will listen — but we need to do more.

Internally, we are building a diverse, inclusive culture intolerant of prejudice. We are also investigating our organization, processes, and attitudes to ensure we consider racial and gender equality in everything we do. We’re actively listening in our communities from coast to coast to improve our actions and engagement.

As a company, Geocent is committed to helping right these wrongs wherever and whenever we can. Let's be a force of good—for our employees, for our customers, and the world.

Sincerely,

Bobby Savoie


Vanity Fair:
Here's Why It Hurt When People Say, "All Lives Matter"

Image credit: Sarah Willis Photography

This post is written by Bobby Savoie, Ph. D