Standing Against Racism
This message below was sent from PSC President Jay Edwards to the employees of Parkhill, Smith & Cooper on June 2, 2020. Mr. Edwards has also joined the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge. Click HERE to find out more information.
The events of this past week in our country have filled me with great sorrow. The inexcusable treatment of George Floyd that lead to his death is the latest reminder that our country has complex issues surrounding race and justice to overcome. Although I do not have the answers to these complex issues, I believe remaining silent and hoping they are resolved by someone else is not a valid option. I hope that by sharing with you my feelings of outrage, sadness, and even discouragement; we can begin a dialogue that will help us all muster a new resolve to overcome injustices and destruction within our communities. Never has our mission of Building Community been more needed.
Within the past year, we mourned the tragic shootings in our communities of El Paso and Odessa. In the aftermath of those senseless acts, we learned of brave acts of heroism displayed by law enforcement officers during these events that saved many lives. Zack Owens, a Midland police officer, sustained multiple gunshot wounds in the line of duty during the Odessa shooting. Fortunately, Zack survived the injuries and has recently returned to work with the Midland Police Department. Zack’s father works for Parkhill in our Midland office and has kept me abreast of his progress.
Through Zack’s experience and others, I know firsthand that there are many members of law enforcement that risk everything to serve our communities. I am grateful for the work that they do and am humbled by the sacrifices these brave men and women make each day. However, I also acknowledge that there are individuals within law enforcement that grossly abuse the power bestowed upon them. Because of this, there are members of our communities, and possibly of our Parkhill family, that fear what happened in Minneapolis could happen to them. This is completely unacceptable! We must find ways to turn the tide against racism and divisiveness in our world.
Although I can never fully understand the experience of being a person of color living in this country, being in an interracial marriage has helped me know that my wife’s experiences have been and continue to be different than mine. These differences are sometimes ugly and unfair and should not happen in our world today. It is with this perspective that I personally embrace cultural diversity within Parkhill and within our communities. We are better because of our differences!
I am thankful for each one of you who have chosen to be a part of the Parkhill family. Please know that I will not be silent when I see unfair differences and that I will stand to support each of you in the face of injustice.
As we move forward, please help me understand even more fully what I can do to make our firm’s mission of Building Community more inclusive, more respectful, and more compassionate. Feel free to respond to this post, or through a private email directly to me. I look forward to hearing and learning from your perspective.