Below is a letter I shared with our team today in response to the social injustice and unrest in the U.S., and the concrete actions we are taking as a company to address systemic racism. If you are passionate about social justice, I encourage you to transform that empathy into action—seek out opportunities to make a difference and truly become an advocate and ally for our African-American neighbors.
Like many of you, I am extremely troubled and saddened by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, the latest of a series of tragic deaths of African Americans in the U.S. Hate and racism are still clearly present in our society and must be weeded out. There is a deep weariness and frustration that despite repeated calls for change, nothing changes. Colleagues of mine have shared openly that they worry about the safety of African American brothers, sisters, parents, children – even themselves. I find that absolutely heartbreaking, and infuriating. It is completely unacceptable that anyone live in fear. Hate, racial discrimination, violence, and social injustice have no place in our society. We must not tolerate them in our neighborhoods, our communities, nor at Micron – we must not be silent.
These cycles of injustice cannot remain – we must find a better way. On Friday, I challenged my business connections on LinkedIn to act on their values and seek out opportunities to create real change. I am writing to each of you today because fixing endemic injustice and eradicating racism is a responsibility we must all face together, not just the African American community. Action begins with each of us reflecting and understanding what we must first change within ourselves.
Voicing support right now is important. It is equally important that the next steps transform that sadness and outrage into long-term solutions. I held a powerful and emotional townhall earlier today with our Black Employee Network (BEN). We were able to hear individual stories and suggestions, express solidarity, share our pain and stand alongside each other. Many of the team members I met with emphasized that one of best ways to be an advocate at Micron is to be aware of and help eliminate any undercurrent of social bias in our words and our actions.
I feel strongly that we must take concrete actions to support our communities and our team members. We have dedicated $500,000 to help African-American communities fight COVID (these communities have been some of the hardest hit) and are committing an additional $500,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund. You can also donate to this fund (and others) via Micron Gives and your donations will be matched 2:1 by the Micron Foundation. For our team members, as always, we offer dedicated counseling resources for anyone who requests them and are starting additional virtual support sessions next week for both groups and individuals. We are adding new coaching and training on how to be a more inclusive leader. Our DEI team, along with BEN, also identified several actions you can take today to show peaceful support for positive change. You can view these steps and resources on our DEI website. These are just the first steps towards fighting injustice. Creating long-term change will require relentless and persistent work from each of us.
I know the pandemic had already created an emotional strain for so many on our team, and now it is further aggravated by the current situation. Our People value compels us to act with empathy when others in our community are marginalized, hurting or need help. I encourage you to reach out to others – it is about caring for each other with compassion. Be an ally. Learn the context of the challenges others face and work to truly understand what they need. It is through these conversations that we can identify the best actions for each of us to influence much needed change. Change not just for today, but for the long run.
Our vision is to transform how the world uses information to enrich life. That vision will help create cures for diseases, enable smarter transportation, and unleash new businesses. But obviously, life cannot truly be enriched when injustice is so prevalent for so many. How can we better use data to create the understanding and transparency that lead to just and equitable systems within our society? I do not have answers today, but we are committed to acting with urgency to employ all of Micron’s innovation, our powerful platform, and our influence in our communities to help create change. I welcome your input and ideas.
Inequalities and injustices are not unique to the U.S. They are universal human concerns. I look forward to your support in lending Micron’s strength to create new and lasting solutions. I know our values, our heart, and our people can make a real difference.
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
Martin Luther King, Jr.