MERS Goodwill, with over 2,500 employees in our stores, career centers and schools, is dedicated to being a force in our community, to implement our vision where "Each individual has the opportunity to learn, work, and achieve their greatest potential."
Over the last few weeks we at MERS Goodwill have struggled with feelings of frustration, anger and deep sadness at the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. As we painfully watched George Floyd being suffocated in front of our eyes, we were tragically reminded of the repeated incidents of racial injustice against black people in our community. These heartbreaking occurrences are a reminder that racism still endures in our country.
Systemic and systematic racism in our society threatens the lives, hopes and dreams of so many black and brown Americans. No one should ever have to grow up surrounded by fear, sadness and anger. It destroys lives. Racial injustices, pervasive racial discrimination and outright cruelty leave people feeling hopeless.
Each of us deserves respect, dignity and the opportunity to live one's life free of fear. A person's race should not determine how they are treated in life. We must find a way to end both personal and systematic racism.
We know there is no easy solution to the problems we face. We must find the strength to devote time, energy and resources towards making a difference.
For over 100 years, MERS Goodwill has worked hard to live by its mission of changing lives through the power of work. Our core values include diversity, integrity, respect and responsibility. These values and this mission require us to do all we can to end the curse of racism. We must remain committed to developing and maintaining employment and education programs that are aimed at creating opportunities for all people, especially those that have been discriminated against. We need to listen to our employees and people in our community for ideas that can help lead us to continued meaningful change. We must strive every day to embrace diversity and inclusion in all that we do. We encourage each of you to share ideas on how we should move ahead. MERS Goodwill will aspire to do its part in creating a community where all individuals can live their lives without fear and have the opportunity to achieve their hopes and dreams in life.
Edgar Helms, the founder of Goodwill, once said, "Friends of Goodwill, be
dissatisfied with your work until every person in your community has an opportunity to develop to their fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living."
Our work is not done.