(Excerpt from the Americas Firmwide Weekly Livestream to Mizuho Americas Employees on 6/3/20)
Dear Mizuho Colleagues & Families,
Over the course of nearly three months, our weekly “Office Hours” livestreams have served as a place to come together to draw strength and solidarity in times of tragedy and uncertainty, as well as to celebrate progress, resiliency, and optimism.
It is extremely disheartening that we find ourselves in the midst of profound injustice, as a national tragedy has created unnecessary and unspeakable anguish.
George Floyd – whose horrific death while in police custody has prompted a formal charge of murder and widespread outrage and civil unrest – is sadly only the latest example among many others of such tragic acts of violence against the black community.
As CEO of the Americas region of a global company, I am heartbroken at this senseless and destructive prejudice. It has no place in society. Our devotion to diversity and inclusion is not just manifested in words on a page, but in the belief that racism is unacceptable and will not stand.
To our colleagues who are a part of the Black community, we acknowledge the hurt, pain, and even trauma that comes from yet again witnessing such violence against the community. We acknowledge the unique additional stress you face maneuvering through everyday tasks just because of the color of your skin. I encourage managers to listen to team members and provide support when needed. Please know that the company and management stand firm in our commitment to your well-being as colleagues and individuals.
On Monday, we entered Pride Month, celebrating the accomplishments and recognizing the courage of the LGBTQ community to achieve inclusion and acceptance. One focus of the movement that I find especially compelling is its well-developed sense of the need to motivate and educate allies. Enlisting the help of the broader community in an unwavering commitment to defeat ignorance and intolerance wherever it is practiced, is critical.
Right now more than ever, we need to be allies in the fight against intolerance and prejudice, including truly listening to those who have lived these experiences. We support those who are safely participating in the peaceful protests for justice, contacting elected officials, or lending words of comfort and support to those affected.
To the entire Mizuho community, in times of such turmoil it is important to take care of yourself and your family. If you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable, we are here to help.
I hope that you and your families stay safe, healthy, and hopeful that better days lay ahead.
Chairman & CEO, Mizuho Americas