From the CEO's Desk: An Open Letter on Race and Bias
June 11, 2020
To Our Cornerstone Community,
We sit at a transformative moment in America. But this moment is transformative if, and only if, we honestly self-reflect and take action. These past several weeks sadly have not been markedly different than what has transpired over many, many years. The issues of race and inclusivity are unfortunately not new, but the world in which they continue to play out is different.
As an American, I find it impossible to watch the videos of Ahmaud Arbery, Christian Cooper and George Floyd, and hear the stories of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, among too many others, without feelings of guilt, shame and outrage. Simply stating "we need to do better" does not address the moral imperative to do better and the commitment to sustained action.
We have the means, the reach and now the greater will to educate the world. While no panacea, education is an important piece of this puzzle. We were not born with conscious or unconscious bias. We learned it.
We can start by unlearning behaviors. We need to unlearn racism and bias. Then we need to learn anew. Learn to be anti-racist, to be an ally, to do better. Individually and together, we can create change.
And then we must do better. We have a diverse organization. We have diversity and inclusion initiatives. We train our people and our clients on unconscious bias. But we can do much better, and we will.
For our community:
- We will support the Internship Initiative of LA-Tech.org, the organization we founded, which has committed to finding tech internships for 1,000 underprivileged people of color in Los Angeles.
- We are offering free training on unconscious bias to the general public through Cornerstone Cares.
- We are expanding the Workforce Ready initiative of our Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation—which helps prepare people for interviews, internships and entering the workforce—from a local to a national initiative by partnering with local governments and nonprofit organizations, including those focused on supporting black youth.
- We will continue our work with local nonprofits which provide support and mentorship to underprivileged youth, many of whom are people of color.
For our clients:
- We are providing free unconscious bias training for all of our learning clients.
- We are committed to creating more compelling content that helps people engage in meaningful dialogue around race, including new content every quarter to enable continuous learning.
- We are expanding our Modern Compliance Content Anytime subscription to include a Cornerstone Originals learning series that explores topics too often deemed off-limits in the workplace, such as ethnicity, age, religion, ability and gender, to support people in their journey to fight bias.
- We are implementing a supplier diversity program.
For our employees:
- We will continue to train all of our people on unconscious bias, diversity & inclusion and harassment awareness.
- We will increase our hiring efforts for diverse candidates, including recruiting from traditionally black universities, to improve ethnic-minority diversity at all levels of the company.
- We are creating a leadership council to give voice to our ethnically diverse employees, and our executives will mentor employees from our under-represented groups.
- We are adding inclusive management practices to our manager training curriculum.
This is a new starting point, not an end point. Nothing we do today will erase generations of institutionalized oppression and discrimination. We have a lot more to learn and a lot of work to do. Our pledge today is to keep working at this, even when the current spotlight fades, and never stop. This isn’t a moment, it’s a movement. Join us.