From Richard Kouwenhoven, President of Hemlock Printers
I am writing on behalf of the Hemlock community to convey our sentiments on the worldwide movement sparked by the tragic death of George Floyd Jr. on May 25th.
This is a moment to take a pause and reflect on the reality that racism continues to pervade all aspects of our society, here in Canada and in many places around the world.
It is a moment to accept that systemic racism exists in Canada and has since our nation was formed over 150 years ago.
It is also a moment where we must accept that it is our collective and urgent responsibility to take action to eradicate racism in all forms, at all levels, and to uphold the values of diversity and inclusion.
We support those who are engaging in peaceful protest and calling for immediate changes to the structures and systems that discriminate against Black, Indigenous and People of Colour within our communities.
Within our business, we firmly believe we have responsibility to be a force for positive change within society. We have applied this philosophy to commitments in the area of environmental sustainability and in our work with many progressive not-for-profit organizations in both Canada and the U.S.
We believe that in the wake of this tragedy, our society has an opportunity to make important transformative change and Hemlock is determined to do our part.
How do we join this growing global movement to fight racism?
We will first look for opportunities to make improvements within our workplace, through staff engagement and education, along with a detailed review of our workplace policies. We will also look to ally with like-minded organizations who are working to do their part to advance anti-racism and social justice initiatives within our communities.
To begin this effort, we will form an internal committee to brainstorm ways we can play a positive role on this urgent societal issue and build action plans which will be communicated to both internal and external stakeholders. As a purpose driven business, we continue to strive for ways to apply the passion and collective power of the Hemlock community to be a force for positive change.
We will provide an update on our website within 3-months, describing our plans and the actions we have taken. We welcome any feedback you may have in support of these efforts.