Manufacturing leaders across the country are responding to the nationwide protests spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “We absolutely stand hand in hand with all those who seek respect, fairness and the right to equality of opportunity…
On June 11, the National Association of Manufacturers’ Executive Committee unanimously voted to pass the below Pledge for Action, an 11-point commitment plan for manufacturers to advance justice, equality and opportunity for black people and all people of color.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd died in Minneapolis under the knee of a white police officer as fellow officers looked on.
In the time since, that footage—of a black man being treated as less than human—has come to represent countless similar moments. Around the country and throughout the world, George Floyd’s death has spurred protest and action, shining a light on repeated instances of racism and violence against black people and all people of color.
For millions of people across the United States—including our friends, family members, coworkers and employees—these events are not just tragic incidents; they are also reminders of an ongoing threat to their own safety, equality and opportunity. They highlight inescapable inequities that are too often downplayed and brushed aside by those with the power to make a difference. At a time of extraordinary uncertainty, they make clear that we have much more work to do—and that we must do that work together.
We condemn hate, bias and racial division in the strongest of terms, even as they remain woven into the fabric of our society. As leaders who represent manufacturers in the United States, we recognize the integral role our industry has historically played in lifting up people and communities, and the opportunity and obligation we have now to stand with and support all people who face injustice.
We are determined not to let this moment pass, or to abdicate our own responsibility to help build
a better way. We are committed to understanding our most effective role and using the tools at our disposal to be part of the solution. And we are resolved to take action to ensure that our country can fulfill its promise of justice, equality and opportunity for all.
In furtherance of this pledge and to secure the future of our nation, we also commit to these specific actions to advance justice, equality and opportunity for black people and all people of color in the United States:
- We will speak out and stand up for justice, equality and opportunity, actively making these topics part of an ongoing conversation without being asked or reminded.
- We will make bridging the racial opportunity gap a central part of our missions.
- We will strengthen our workplaces as spaces where black people and all people of color will be heard, respected and celebrated.
- Recognizing that many communities are underrepresented in manufacturing workplaces and that lack of employment opportunities impact income, wealth and health outcomes, we will broaden outreach and industry-career promotion efforts to black people and all people of color as well
as underrepresented communities to provide more pathways to rewarding careers in modern manufacturing.
- We will work to improve and increase representation of black people and all people of color at all levels of our companies and organizations—entry level, midlevel and senior level.
- We will expand education, training and scholarship opportunities in the manufacturing industry for black people and all people of color.
- We will remove barriers and open doors to modern manufacturing careers for those inside prisons and for those reentering society.
- We will engage with black people and all people of color in local communities and promote partnerships with volunteers and service organizations, ensuring that our understanding of the communities where we live and work includes the perspectives of black people and all people of color.
- We will lend our voices to the fight for justice system accountability measures and criminal justice reform.
- We will encourage increased minority participation in democracy through voting, advocacy and other opportunities for influence.
- We will diversify the supply chain by providing equal opportunity for black-owned and minority-owned enterprises to do business with us.
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the tragic events in Minnesota: “At the National Association of Manufacturers, we share the concerns of many Americans about the unfolding events…