Inside Aera

 

Aera At Work Jun 10, 2020

Sistrunk: Aera stands against racial injustice

Aera’s top leader urges employees to support black colleagues who know the pain behind the protests

Black Lives Matter“We cannot look away from the injustices and ongoing discrimination facing the black community or pretend that, when our colleagues come to work, the pain from that no longer exists.”

With those words, Aera President and CEO Christina Sistrunk called on the company’s 1,100 employees to acknowledge the emotional toll on coworkers from recent nationwide protests.

Sistrunk said she had spoken with family members and friends, including Aera colleagues who are part of the black community.

“They are strong, competent and successful individuals,” she wrote in a June 4 message. “And every one of them is hurting.”

Their personal experiences reveal that incidents of police brutality and racial discrimination “are not as rare as many of us would like to believe,” said Sistrunk.

Many are trying to find a way to hide their pain because they believe most people outside the black community won’t understand. They don’t want to expose their underlying raw emotions.

Sistrunk urged Aera’s employees to “meet this moment with exceptional care.” Employees “should check in with each other, listen to, empathize with and support each other.”

The Aera Black Employee Network is an excellent resource for support, Sistrunk noted. She recommended staff members consider joining the group’s upcoming events “as a member, ally, or just someone who wishes to learn more.”

Speaking out on Facebook

A June 4 post, shared on Aera Energy’s Facebook page, amplified Sistrunk’s message:

“We foster inclusion and diversity, and we stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, their families and our community.”

“We foster inclusion and diversity, and we stand in solidarity with our black colleagues, their families and our community.

We see your struggle and join in on the call for justice following the death of George Floyd and so many others. We stand strongly against racial violence and police brutality. We regrettably cannot change the past, but we will work with our communities in the present so we can move toward a better tomorrow.”

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