A message from Brian House, President and CEO on Racism and Inequality
June 6, 2020
Over the past several months, I’ve tried to provide regular updates regarding the on-going coronavirus pandemic, in order to let you know what the company was doing to ensure the safety and health of our employees, and alleviate the financial uncertainty being felt by all. In the past ten past days, another event has dominated the news cycle, and it has captured the nation’s attention. As important as continued awareness and diligence in managing through the pandemic continues to be, it somehow seems a little less important this week.
No one can look at the video images of George Floyd’s death and not feel a sense of disgust. The incident itself, as well as the implications of the larger issue that it amplifies, have awoken the country.
I’ve always found it difficult, as the leader of an organization, to balance the voicing of my opinion on some important social issues, and that is because it is neither my job nor my right; to dictate how our employees think during these times. What is important to some, is less so to others. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of social injustices or noble causes in this world, and each is perceived through the lens of individuals. Some see what others do not.
But in this case, I hope I can speak not only for myself but for every employee in our company: MER categorically denounces any racial profiling, discrimination, or oppression of individuals, in any form.
This company is based upon four Core Values, and one of which is Mutual Respect. I always say that it is the most important value we have and is furthermore based upon the simple fact that no one person in the company is more important than any other. Yes, we all have different jobs, different responsibilities, and even different authority levels. But we also all have equal rights to how we are treated, and how we express our opinions within the organization. We are a company of individuals, fused together with a common desire for Performance. More importantly, we are fused together by our belief in Mutual Respect.
Our company has always shone brightest during times of crisis. Whether it is our hardwiring, or just because it’s the business that we are in, we seemingly always look back and are amazed at how the people within our organization pull together when needed. We are well-practiced at managing our way through natural disasters, emergency projects, or even the infrequent personal tragedies’ that we have all endured. Storm management comes naturally to us but dealing with this type of “social storm” does not. So, I must draw from my experience and reinforce those actions with what my heart tells me to do. I always go back to fundamentals, and above all, try to provide some sense of stability, calm and empathy.
This incident has reminded us all of the need for conversation, both on a societal level, as well as a personal level. We are all trying to process what is happening in our own minds and are frustrated to find the right answers. For me, it’s been with my family, my friends and people within the company. I encourage you all to do the same and to not be afraid to talk with your “MER family” for support, understanding and healing.
So now, I would ask that we all think about what we can collectively commit to as an organization:
- Support one another. Embrace Mutual Respect. Have empathy for anyone who has feelings of suffering from injustice or suppression.
- Educate ourselves on the issues that exist. We have a platform in front of us at this very moment. We owe it to ourselves to understand its underpinnings. Take this as an opportunity to reflect upon other social causes that are also important to you.
- Be aware of what is happening in our own communities. Ask what we can do to advance the values of equality and humanity.
- Examine our own lives and do what we can to help build a society that recognizes the value of all people. Make a difference.
This has been a tough week in an already tough year. We’ve used the word unprecedented already this year, and we continue to operate in uncharted waters. What is happening affects us all, and in the end, I am asking us all to take a renewed commitment to our Core Values, and specifically Mutual Respect. Perhaps more than anything else, this is a time for understanding, and that begins with conversation. Our open-door policy encourages honest and frank discussion, even if it is sometimes uncomfortable. It makes us a better company and helps drives our culture. My commitment to you is to listen and to support our efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion across our organization. All MER employees must feel safe, heard, respected, and valued.
As always, I thank you for your continued hard work and dedication.
Brian J. House
President and Chief Executive Officer
Moran Environmental Recovery, LLC
75D York Avenue
Randolph, MA 02368
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