On June 5, 2020, the below message was sent from SonicWall CEO Bill Conner to all employees.
We’ve all been watching over the past week as a tragic event in the United States touched off outcries and calls for justice and reform, not only around the United States, but also around the world.
After thoughtfully considering how to address this important topic, I am convinced that we should not just be asking what the right words are for expressing our rejection of all forms of discrimination. Rather, we should also be asking how we can make our communities more safe and more equitable for everyone, and, perhaps more importantly, how we can take action.
I want to be clear that I stand with other business and community leaders in condemning racial injustice and discrimination in any form and calling on our leaders, organizations and neighbors to listen and learn from all voices, and to take action. We can and must stand together to create positive change wherever we are able to.
Listen and Learn: Knowledge is our Best Defense
Too often, the injustices and attacks we see are a product of ignorance and a lack of open communication and exposure. What that tells me is that our best defense against being part of the problem is knowledge and transparency. We need to take time to listen, communicate openly and respectfully and be willing to change when change is called for. We must also accept that we cannot truly understand the struggles of another person if we have not walked a few miles in their shoes.
Our SonicWall family is a diverse, global team made up of almost all cultural backgrounds, ethnicities and colors. That diversity is a fundamental strength. I have been fortunate to have spent nearly four decades working at SonicWall and other multi-national and multi-cultural organizations. During that time, I have learned that when we listen with the objective to understand, engage with each other on our merits and work together toward a common cause, differences in our appearances and backgrounds fade. We become one team.
I urge all of us to take a step back and seriously consider how we can better listen and learn from the people who don’t look like us or share our beliefs, backgrounds or cultures. Lasting change starts with an individual accountability for how we treat each other and, ultimately, how we will choose to act.
Standing Together for Change
At this time, I want to issue a challenge to our entire SonicWall family. There are dedicated individuals and organizations who have been working for years to combat the issues that are at the forefront of the news headlines. I urge each of us to find causes in our communities that need our time and talents, and to volunteer our services. I also encourage each of us to support organizations that are promoting these changes: Please consider making a donation to organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Color of Change or the Black Lives Matter Foundation within the next few weeks.
To demonstrate our commitment as a company and an executive team at SonicWall, we will match your donations made to one of these organization or a similar organization advocating for equality during the month of June. We also make additional donations to similar causes in the coming months. The HR team will be sending details on each the organizations mentioned above, and how to record your donation for matching purposes.
I’m proud to work each day with a diverse and talented group of employees around the world. Let’s continue to be ONE team and make a difference in our homes and communities.
Listen, learn and stand together for positive change.