A message from our CEO on dismantling racism and brutality in all its forms

By Regence
June 08, 2020
MGanz railroad wood pic

Regence stands with our community as we share the grief and outrage so many feel after the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other victims of police violence.

For more than 100 years, we have worked to ensure all our neighbors have access to health care for themselves and their families. We also recognize health disparities exist. Many of those have been exacerbated through the current COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected people of color.

We are committed to moving forward with compassion and a renewed effort to understand and work for systemic change to eliminate health disparities and racism so we can better serve our community.

Our CEO, Mark Ganz, shared his thoughts with employees this week, and we would like to share them with you:

This is a message I shared with our employees about the brutal racism we saw last week. Racism and brutality show up in different communities, in different expressions. In this moment the Black community is particularly grieving. We must dismantle racism and brutality in all its forms.

Over the past week, I have felt a heaviness and sadness, anger and fear for our country. Yet I also have hope that somehow the brutality of what we witnessed on video last week, and the lawless behavior of some in its aftermath, will cause each of us to deeply reflect about how we allow and even perpetuate racism and brutality by averting our eyes, pretending it is not really endemic in our society, or acting as if it is someone else’s responsibility to confront and fix it.    

We must discern what we need to change in ourselves to ensure we reduce and eventually neutralize the work of evil in our world. Its goal is to divide and distance relationships, destroy hope, enhance intolerance and nurture despair. While we must recognize it, and “name” its destructive presence in our lives, we can and must pursue things of the light, and not merely curse the darkness in ourselves, in those around us and in the world.

Each of us must own this. We need to work hard to understand racism, intolerance and brutality in our midst (perhaps even in ourselves) and then commit to being better, more tolerant and sensitive toward one another. Each of us need to really think about and then commit to building stronger relationships with people in our communities; our families, our places of worship, our company, our cities or the country.

We need to do more than only protest in the streets or on social media about why others, especially the government, are not doing enough to solve the problem for us. President John F. Kennedy was right: It is not what your company, your city, or your country can do for you, it is what you (we) can and must do for our communities and our fellow human beings. 

I think every one of us has experienced brutality and evil in our lives at some level. Not every one of us has dealt with racism. I, for one, cannot fully understand what it is like to experience it. All of us who have not faced racism, can be more curious, learn from those who know its demeaning and dangerous sting, and perhaps can become better allies, examples for others - and more effective at stopping it.

I know we can overcome this. But it will take us all standing up to the darkness, in us and around us, and working together to overwhelm it with our collective light. I pledge to redouble my efforts in this regard, and I hope each of you will as well. For this to change, we must each commit to doing better.

Each of us can be beacons of hope and transformation, using our light, our voices and most importantly our actions every day.