How should you address George Floyd’s death with your employees?

Unsure whether you should say something? Not sure what to say? This guidance can help you start a conversation—and fortify your words with actions.

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The United States, already reeling from a pandemic and record unemployment, finds itself in a civil rights uprising that has swept the nation.

The death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers—an event caught on video—has unleashed a national outcry for justice.

Many organizations have made public statements; others are reluctant to wade into racial issues. Some have issued internal statements, but not all.

What should your organization do? If you’re grappling with the answer, you’re not alone.

This is uncharted territory for many organizations that don’t typically issue statements—internally or externally—related to national issues if they don’t directly affect their industry or employees.

New York City-based Con Edison is one of those brands.

“I’ve never seen us get involved in an issue like this before,” says Ann Cameron, director of creative services for Con Ed.

On Monday morning, Con Ed CEO John McAvoy emailed a statement to employees, opening with the death of George Floyd and how it has exposed the hurt and pain of racism for African Americans and all communities. It ended, “Let’s not tolerate intolerance.”

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