Ford Execs Address Tragic Death Of George Floyd In Touching Letter To Employees

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There’s no denying that the recent, tragic death of George Floyd has had a profound impact on the United States, causing protests, unrest and calamities all over. And with any luck, it’ll lead to some much-needed, long-overdue changes. Many companies have stepped up to address these issues in recent days, and now Ford Motor Company has joined that group with a powerful sent to employees by Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford

Ford Chief Communications Officer Mark Truby said late Monday that the letter was sent to all of the automaker’s employees globally and posted on the company’s intranet.

“There are no easy answers. We are not interested in superficial actions. This is our moment to lead from the front and fully commit to creating the fair, just, and inclusive culture that our employees deserve,” the letter said.

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Ford CEO Jim Hackett

The letter also addressed systematic racism and Ford’s commitment to fight it. “And while we would like to say that racism has no place in our society, we know that systemic racism still exists despite the progress that has been made. We cannot turn a blind eye to it or accept some sense of ‘order’ that’s based on oppression.”

In addition to addressing the death of George Floyd, the letter also touched on the impact the coronavirus has had on the city of Detroit and its African American citizens. “There is no doubt that the weight of these challenges disproportionately fall on the black community. We have seen this disparity among our own Ford team members affected by COVID-19, and the legacy of economic disparities in our own home city of Detroit. It is pain that many of our team members have long felt in their daily lives.”

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In addition to inviting employees to share ideas on how it can improve its operations, Ford also reiterated its commitment to taking action. “We will be meeting with employees across the company, including engaging with the Ford African Ancestry Network (FAAN). We also plan to ask leaders throughout the company to hold dialogues with their teams to understand how people are feeling and discuss how we can get better together. We promise to share updates as we continue on this journey.”

It’s a thoughtful document, for sure, and one that we imagine Ford’s employees will appreciate. With any luck, the death of George Floyd will only help lead to tangible change not only in one company, but in the entire country.

You can find a full copy of the message from Ford and Hackett below.

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We’ll have more on this story soon, so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford news coverage.

Ford Team,

This is an extraordinary moment in our history. All at once, we are grappling with a public health crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, an economic shock that has forced us to adapt on the fly, and social upheaval that has challenging all of us to think and act differently.

In the midst of this, the tragic killing of George Floyd, compounded by other senseless killings over the years, has sparked the expression of decades of collective anger and frustration over the unacceptable abuse of power and authority. This pain is felt across the communities our employees call home.

There is no doubt that the weight of these challenges disproportionately fall on the black community. We have seen this disparity among our own Ford team members affected by COVID-19, and the legacy of economic disparities in our own home city of Detroit. It is pain that many of our team members have long felt in their daily lives.

There are no easy answers. We are not interested in superficial actions. This is our moment to lead from the front and fully commit to creating the fair, just and inclusive culture that our employees deserve.

Ford, and our labor partners, especially the UAW, have shown leadership on diversity and inclusion over the years. Building on this, and the work of the Ford Motor Company Fund in black communities, there is much more we can do together.

Today is the start of an even deeper dialogue within Ford on these critical issues. We will be meeting with employees across the company, including engaging with the Ford African Ancestry Network (FAAN). We also plan to ask leaders throughout the company to hold dialogues with their teams to understand how people are feeling and discuss how we can get better together. We promise to share updates as we continue on this journey. 

We are a company made up of extraordinary people of every race, religion, and background, all worthy of the same dignity. We view our differences as one of our great strengths. We are a team – not in word, but in bond.

And while we would like to say that racism has no place in our society, we know that systemic racism still exists despite the progress that has been made. We cannot turn a blind eye to it or accept some sense of “order” that’s based on oppression. 

Many of us cannot know what it is truly like to be part of a community of color, to know what it is like to be afraid for our children every time they leave the house, or to worry that this day might be our last. But as long as so many of our colleagues, our friends, live with that fear, how can we live with ourselves? As long as we have the privilege to breathe, it’s on all of us to summon new levels of empathy and humanity.

Finally, we want to say to anyone struggling with fear and despair, we have resources that can help. Please visit @FordOnline and see below for more information.

In a time of hardship and upheaval, one thing is for certain: we remain a family and a company that is stronger together and committed to racial and social justice.

Thank you for all you do for Ford Motor Company.

Bill and Jim

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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14 Comments

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  1. Most aren’t being told that out of 10 million arrests last year, 1004 were killed by police. Out of those, 41 were unarmed. 19 were white while 9 were black. 89 cops were killed but nobody seems to give a shit about that. So now you’ll say this is a lie I’m sure so feel free to research it and start where I started. The FBI Uniform Crime Report and Washington Post.

    • Couple things Todd. First, I think most everyone recognizes that being a police officer is a difficult and sometimes dangerous job. But there’s an important distinction there: You can choose to be a cop, but you can’t choose whether or not to be black.

      The other point is the larger issue that while actual murder by cop is rare, the encounters black people have are often quite different than what white people experience. I would encourage you to really listen to your black friends and co-workers and ask them about their experience with law enforcement. You’ll probably find a wide variety of experiences, but there may be some commonality there that you haven’t experienced.

  2. Funny that the moderator was afraid to post my factual numbers about how many cops and whites are murdered compared to blacks. Liberals hate pesky facts.

    • Most aren’t being told that out of 10 million arrests last year, 1004 were killed by police. Out of those, 41 were unarmed. 19 were white while 9 were black. 89 cops were killed but nobody seems to give a shit about that. So now you’ll say this is a lie I’m sure so feel free to research it and start where I started. The FBI Uniform Crime Report and Washington Post.

    • Nobody was “afraid” to do or post anything. Your comment contained a word that caught our moderation filters, and was held for moderation. Simple as that.

      • Fair enough. easy to assume however with all of the censorship going on when it comes to conservative views.

  3. I didn’t notice any corporate handwringing, or virtue-signaling, when a Minneapolis cop shot a white woman to death point blank, with no provocation. I guess because the cop was black, and a muslim, and the woman just some white woman, it doesn’t matter.

  4. Wow, I think the “numbers” issue is missing the point, as these are the symptoms, not the cause. It’s about the equal application of Civil Rights as mandated in the Constitution folks. They’er not for some, or even most US citizens…they’re for ALL of us!

    • True yet whites are being murdered at even higher rates than blacks. And what about the cops that are murdered at 10 times the rate? What about the blacks who are being murdered every year by other blacks?

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