A Statement On Racial Injustice

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The following statement was issued today from VSP Global President and CEO Michael Guyette:

The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans have rightly ignited outrage across the U.S. and the world, further elevating an important national dialogue.

On behalf of the VSP Global Board of Directors, my leadership team and employees around the globe, I want to express our collective grief and frustration over these tragedies, which unfortunately join a centuries-long list of injustices committed against Black people in this country. We unequivocally affirm the principle that Black lives matter. Racism of any kind will not be tolerated at VSP Global.

So many of us have engaged in self-examination as citizens during this historic moment. As an organization, we’ve also used the time to reflect on our own values.

In that reflection, and through open and early dialogue, we realized there are things we must do better and differently.

We are taking a long, hard look at the diversity and inclusivity across all our businesses and accelerating efforts to embed a revised strategy—with action plans and accountability—within the operations of the company. One designed to create a better environment and opportunities for Black employees to advance into leadership roles. One that enhances our ability to meet the diverse needs of our members and the communities we support. One that better leverages the value of all our Business Resource Groups.

And as one employee recently phrased it for me, a plan designed to create a “culture of understanding, not just trainings.”

I recognize that words are meaningless without action. As we continue on this journey, one of our first steps is to hire a full-time Diversity & Inclusion Officer to ensure we realize permanent and lasting change. A solution won’t happen overnight. But we are committed to active listening, learning and sharing our progress in the coming weeks and months.

My hope is that our efforts within VSP Global can join a broader movement of real and constructive progress beyond our walls as people, other organizations and governments rise purposefully to this moment, too.

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Jace Duval