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Editor’s Note: Thomas L. Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel Group (the parent company of TravelAge West), sent the below internal communication to Northstar Travel Group employees on June 2. We are reprinting it here, with his permission.
We are all experiencing an inexcusable moment in the history of the United States that reminds all of us of the systemic racism that persists in our society and country.
We condemn the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. We all witnessed the horrific death of an unarmed and subdued black citizen. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual or unique event in the history of racism in America. More recently, the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the blatant use of racism as a weapon by Amy Cooper, harshly remind us that we are so far from where we need to be as country and the principles of equality. There are countless examples that occur every day. The rules of our world appear to be different for white citizens and those of color, and until this inequity is resolved, none of us should remain silent.
We strongly support the First Amendment Rights of all the protestors around the country who are expressing their outrage at this string of murders and harassment of people of color in our country. However, at the same time, we implore that the violence and destruction that has been perpetrated by individuals discontinue. These acts hijack the legitimate and important message of peaceful protesters to reject and condemn systemic racism.
The rules of our world appear to be different for white citizens and those of color, and until this inequity is resolved, none of us should remain silent.
We all need to learn from this and other unacceptable events by individuals of authority that we are better than this as a country. We all need to commit to diversity and inclusion at all levels to reject racism and violence against citizens of color in our country. We need to focus our energy on bringing our citizens together and reject the divisiveness of our world.
Northstar Travel Group is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. Our Diversity and Inclusion committee has formalized the following mission statement:
At Northstar Travel Group, we strive to create an environment of inclusion for all of our employees. We embrace, value and champion our employees’ diverse backgrounds and experiences that make them unique. We encourage our employees to be themselves in an environment where they can achieve self-fulfillment and contribute their best work. Through thoughtful conversation, education, empathy and practice we will continue to expand our inclusion and diversity efforts to ensure our company and our employees embrace diversity and varied points of view.
We feel it important to further the conversation. We need to be better than this. We will be better than this.
An important part of Northstar Travel Group’s mission is to foster transformation, inclusion and sustainability through global travel and connections with new cultures and to celebrate the diversity of our world. At no time has our mission been more important to transcend racism and break down divisiveness in our world than today.
Thomas L. Kemp, chairman and CEO of Northstar Travel GroupThe DetailsNorthstar Travel Groupwww.northstartravelgroup.com