As you are aware, there has been a national response to the murder of African Americans by police officers over the prior weeks. We are all terribly saddened by the most recent tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber stands as an ally with those who seek to make positive changes in our communities.
Our nation is being traumatized by systemic racism. As leaders, we have the responsibility of acknowledging how far our country has to go to provide every person the freedom and opportunity to live with dignity and peace. The impact of these events is having a profound impact on every community, as we in the St. Louis region know all too well from the pain and unrest in Ferguson and the nation almost six years ago. Hatred, discrimination and injustice are unacceptable and have no place in our society. The St. Louis Regional Chamber maintains our commitment to building a prosperous region that works for all businesses and people.
The Regional Chamber encourages the free exercise of First Amendment rights and supports non-violent expressions and demonstrations. We stand with the many large and small employers, employees, and people living and working in our community who have been impacted by this tragedy. People are feeling pain, anger, and frustration, and are asking how we reset, heal, encourage, resolve, educate, employ, and empower people to move our own region to a place of equity.
The St. Louis Regional Chamber will convene business and community partners to listen and develop actionable solutions that will help bridge the divide stifling our region from moving forward. We will identify and implement the resources necessary to create those bridges and connect communities. The Regional Chamber will tackle these equity issues with the same vigor as we did with COVID-19 recovery, and plan to continue to strengthen our efforts in public policy to champion issues that impact and foster an inclusive business community.
If your organization is interested in contributing to this effort, please reach out to Valerie Patton, senior vice president, Inclusion and Talent Attraction, at firstname.lastname@example.org