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Standing for Equality
The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others highlight the continued injustices experienced by Black Americans. Their deaths underscore the history of violence and racism Black people still face.
Black lives matter and we have a moral and business obligation to engage on this fundamental issue of equality and fairness. Our incoming CEO John Stankey has committed that we will put AT&T resources and leadership towards initiatives that we believe can move the needle on the issue of law enforcement reform and we will do so for as long as it takes. Our current CEO Randall Stephenson authored an open letter calling for elected officials at local, state and federal levels to work with us toward achieving equitable policing and redefining the relationship between law enforcement and those they serve -- Black Americans, in particular. Participating in this struggle is a moral and business imperative—not just for AT&T, but for all companies, and for all communities and citizens. We will drive change through the following actions:
Advocate for systemic change
We'll work with civil rights organizations, law enforcement, elected officials and other businesses on the local, state and federal levels to push for change to address injustices in law enforcement. As part of our advocacy, we'll continue our decades-long financial support and engagement with existing civil rights groups and will also look to partner with others who can make a difference. Our current CEO Randall Stephenson has also agreed to lead a new Business Roundtable (BRT) committee of top CEOs to push for public policy changes to deliver equal justice outcomes for all. You can watch Randall discuss the need for change on CNBC.
Tell the story
WarnerMedia is supporting this effort by telling important stories about racism and the lack of racial equality. In recent weeks, we have hosted a CNN/Sesame Street racism town hall and made the Warner Bros. film Just Mercy, based on the life and work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, available to rent free through June. And we are making an additional contribution of $10 million that includes both cash as well as production assistance and advertising inventory on WarnerMedia channels to raise even more awareness and public support for racial equality.
Listen to one another
Inside and outside of AT&T we are listening to our Black community. Black employees have taken over AT&T social media platforms to share their unique perspectives. And we are continuing the work we began four years ago to encourage employees at every level to engage in open, authentic dialogue around racial inequality through leadership town halls, team meetings and programs like Dialogues of Understanding and DINE.
Make a difference
Across the country, we’re working with many civil rights organizations, including Color of Change, National Action Network, National Urban League, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and the Equal Justice Initiative. Additionally, we are continuing to work diligently in our communities to address education, workforce and other needs of underserved Black communities.
Our society doesn't work if it doesn't work equally for all. We know there is much more that must be addressed when it comes to racial inequities across every facet of society – education, health care, economic opportunities and jobs – across our communities. And, while we’ve led Corporate America in many areas when it comes to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, we know there is much more work to do within AT&T. We will continue to learn from our employees, the community and other businesses, and we’re committed to keep listening and working to ensure we live true to our value to stand for equality.
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