Actions to End Racial Injustice

COCC stands in solidarity with our Black employees and the Black community.

Over the past several weeks, much of the United States has had to face a painful reality. Despite the progress that has been made since emancipation, since the civil rights movement, since having a Black president in office—racial injustice remains strong in our society. The recent unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and others have reminded us all of the need for change. These deaths, caught in the spotlight, have also helped to highlight the everyday inequities that thrive in the shadow of systemic racism.

While there are many here at COCC and in our greater communities who have never had to face racism and prejudice head-on, there are others who have lived this reality for their entire lives. As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to shine a light on systemic racism, advocating for positive change in our societal institutions, we as an organization stand wholeheartedly in support of the cause.

COCC stands in solidarity with our Black employees and the Black community. We recognize that racial injustice continues to pervade our society. We see the emotional toll taken, especially on our Black families, friends, and colleagues. We know that there is work to be done—and we are committed to doing the work.

Over the past several years, COCC has actively engaged with our employees to have conversations around diversity, inclusion, equity, unconscious bias, and ways that we can elevate and amplify the voices of employees of color across our business. There are many actions that we have already implemented and will continue to take as a company to move toward positive change:

  • Expansion of the Diversity & Inclusion team at COCC. Beginning this month, the D&I team will be expanding its membership to include employee volunteers from all areas of the company.
  • Roundtable discussions focused on how to foster diversity and inclusion at COCC. These regularly held roundtables, facilitated by the D&I team, invite all employees to share their experiences—or to just listen and learn from their peers. These roundtables are the foundation that the D&I team uses to introduce new initiatives company-wide.
  • Self-care resources. For the past few years, COCC has been focused on promoting employee mental health—and this effort is more important now than ever. Most importantly, we have placed an emphasis with our manager team on connecting with their team members regularly and on an individual basis. Employees who need to tend to their mental well-being are highly encouraged to do so, no matter the situation. And beyond our insurance benefit offerings, we have also rolled out several self-care resources centered on meditation, mindfulness, and physical wellness.
  • Matching charitable donations to organizations focused on racial justice. COCC will be doing a 200% match for employee donations to Black Lives Matter, Black Girls Code, The Equal Justice Initiative, and The National Black Justice Coalition during the month of July. We have carefully selected these organizations that cover a variety of paths toward dismantling systemic racism and uplifting Black communities and individuals.

Beyond these company-wide efforts, we recognize that change also needs to take place at an individual level. We would encourage everyone to actively participate in dismantling systemic racism. Speak up and have difficult conversations when you witness inequities in your daily life. Investigate and question your own personal biases. Educate yourself on the history of racism in the United States. Get involved with or donate to local organizations. And perhaps most importantly, listen to and learn from the voices and experiences of people of color.

We will continue to stand in solidarity with our communities and to do the work toward ending racial injustice and systemic racism.