AT&T Maine becomes founding member of the Racial Justice Fund

The Fund will support education and advocacy, and seek to forge social, systemic, and economic solutions to combat racism in our culture, organizations, and systems in Maine

At AT&T, we believe each of us has a role to identify and address racial inequality wherever it exists. Here in Maine and across the nation, change starts with action. AT&T supports executive and legislative reforms, public safety initiatives, corporate partnerships and business efforts that advance racial equality and social justice.

Last month, the Maine Chamber of Commerce released a letter signed by dozens of employers, including AT&T, who are committing to take action to address racial and social injustice. Consistent with our long-held values, AT&T Maine recently became one of the founding members of the Racial Justice Fund, launched last week by the Maine Justice Foundation.

At its launch, the Fund had raised $270,000 to combat racial injustice and inequity in Maine. The Fund will support education and advocacy, and seek to forge social, systemic, and economic solutions to combat racism in our culture, organizations, and systems in Maine.

We are honored to take part in this important effort and critical dialogue. To join us in supporting the Racial Justice Fund, visit the Maine Justice Foundation website to donate, and select Racial Justice Fund in the drop-down box.

The demands for justice from around the world for George Floyd, and other victims of racial violence expose truths about racism: It dehumanizes us. It impoverishes us and scars our communities. And it demands both honest recognition and our participation in a systemic response. AT&T actively supports efforts to bring about common ground reforms based on collaboration between communities, civil rights organizations and law enforcement.

AT&T acknowledges its distinct opportunity to be part of the solution. John Stankey, our CEO, perhaps said it best when it comes to effecting change for equality and fairness: “As we all know, it's easier to get things done locally.” That is why it is imperative our employees feel safe in the neighborhoods in which they live, work and raise their families.

Our customers, employees, facilities, and proud 143-year history of connecting people are intertwined with our communities. We embrace the interdependence of diverse communities and value the bonds of our mutuality. As Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

We stand in humble solidarity with all who are committed to peace, justice, forgiveness, kinship, and the common good. Our most basic human desire is the desire to belong—to be part of a community that values us. This desire, we believe, is a source of transformation, creativity, renewal and reconciliation. We will continue to learn from our employees, the community and other businesses.

We’re committed to listening and working to ensure we live true to our values and stand for equality here in Maine and around the country.

Let’s keep working, together.

Owen Smith is the president of AT&T Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire and is responsible for developing the overall strategic direction for AT&T’s legislative, regulatory, public policy and philanthropic initiatives in the northern New England states.

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