June 3, 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Yesterday we saw the viral movement, Black Out Tuesday, flood social media as an expression of solidarity against racial injustice and social discrimination. The intent was to pause, reflect and reconnect with our local communities as we process the senseless death of George Floyd and other innocent victims. While reflecting on what has transpired, I began to capture my thoughts and wanted to take a moment to acknowledge what a dark time it has been for our nation.
Over the last several months, we have suffered from the impact of an unprecedented global pandemic and a heartbreaking number of lives lost as a result.
We are now faced with an unspeakable example of injustice and racism that has led to collective grieving and unrest across the United States.
You may not be aware, but earlier in my career I proudly served the community as a member of law enforcement. The core values of integrity, honor and service have continued to guide me both personally and professionally. I am horrified that George Floyd lost his life by the very people who are there to protect and serve. The resulting protests are seeking to define a new and better America while the violence that has erupted throughout the country undermines the message and the need for change.
Unfortunately, deeply rooted racism and acts of injustice are not without recent or historic precedent. We cannot; however, let them divide us or define us. We cannot lose sight of the main issue … no one in our country should be subjected to – or fear – unjust treatment because of who they are, what they believe or what they look like. Now more than ever, we need to stand together, support change and respect one another.
AJO was founded with the simple, yet powerful, mission to help people to succeed so that they can be the best they can be. Every day, I am reminded how fortunate I am to be in the business of partnering with organizations to drive this promise. We must remain steadfast in our unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and empathy so that we can find a path toward justice, peace and harmony.
Please stay safe and continue to have faith that we will get through all of this together.
President, A.J. O'Connor Associates