The past few weeks have saddened me deeply. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others have brought needed focus to the fact that systemic and structural racism exists, and it has to end.
We chose to be silent yesterday on our social channels in the spirit of getting out of the way of those who should be heard and we will continue to be silent until June 7th. As the leader of Tillamook, I have reflected on how our company can put the eradication of racism more central in our daily thoughts, words and actions. If you’d like to learn more about some of the ways we’re moving forward at Tillamook, I invite you to review this note that I shared with all of our team members this past Monday morning.
We are doubling down on our commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel their voices are heard and that they matter to us. And we will keep prioritizing our work on raising our collective awareness through educating, acknowledging and speaking up when we see words or actions that are inconsistent with fostering an inclusive culture. We will also support the work done by organizations that are on the front lines of standing against racism and supporting change.
We speak publicly today to join the growing chorus of voices calling for an end to pervasive and systemic racism and because I feel that by expressing ourselves publicly we commit ourselves to greater accountability for playing a role in helping to bring about needed change in our society. We don’t pretend to have any special wisdom in these matters, but racism so profoundly violates our values and the core tenets of our culture at Tillamook that we will continue to learn and take action.
We must all do much more to root out racism, intolerance and injustice in our society. It is my hope that these tragic deaths will serve as a catalyst to accelerate the critical work we all know must get done. Racism must end and we at Tillamook will do our part.
Patrick Criteser, president & CEO of Tillamook County Creamery Association