Dear Colleagues,

As a society, we must have zero tolerance for racism.

As business leaders, we have a defining role to play. We fervently believe that we must champion what’s right and stand for justice. We have been taking this time to really listen – and learn – and determine steps we can take as leaders. We believe we owe it to our employees, our clients and shareholders and to each other – as human beings – to help make our businesses and communities real examples of inclusivity and equality. We are acutely aware that many of our companies are just starting to address the inherent inequalities and the need for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs and true partnerships with the Black community. Regardless of where we are on the journey, we do know the difference between right and wrong.

It is with this in mind that we hope you will join us in solidarity to stand up and act against racial injustice. Together we can serve as active allies and not bystanders. We will advocate for the fair and equal treatment of Black people by our criminal justice and economic systems. Together we can confront inequality and demand diversity, equity and inclusion in all that we do.

We ask that you join us today in our efforts to advance racial equality, as a unified coalition of CEOs standing against racism, by signing this online pledge.

Together, here in Colorado, we can foster a more inclusive society. Together we can start to dismantle our society’s systems and institutions that reinforce racial biases and systemic racism.

We understand that words are just that, and we will be measured by our actions. By committing to this cause, you agree to join our efforts to:

Listen

  • Listen to understand the needs of your internal and external stakeholders and work together to advance equity

Learn

  • Educate yourselves and educate and equip your employees to advance equity in the workplace

Lead*  

  • Improve practices for recruiting, hiring and advancing employees of color in your company
  • Encourage diversity and partnerships in your business relationships, and encourage your partners and vendors to embrace diversity in the workforce
  • Donate funds to support organizations addressing racial injustice and advancing equity
  • Vote and encourage your employees to vote as well
  • Actively work with and support minority-owned businesses in your community
  • Join and partner with community-based organizations advancing racial equity

Alongside B:CIVIC, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Denver Partnership, we are compiling resources for Colorado companies to deliver on these commitments, including a multi-year initiative to strengthen the talent pipeline and improve the hiring, advancement and economic mobility of disadvantaged communities in our state in partnership with Prosper Colorado and Inclusive Economy.

We will all be held publicly accountable in making changes. Six months from now, each of us will be required to report on our actions; that information will then be shared by B:CIVIC. As one example, IMA Financial Group, is committing to mandatory DEI training for all employees this year.

Conflict is hard, but the only way we know to deal with it is to confront it directly – not out of anger or to defend our actions, but out of a desire to improve, to be better, to make change. This isn’t somebody else’s problem – this is our problem.

Please contact us directly if you would like to find out more. With your help and by standing together, we can lean into our courage. We can find solutions together. Starting today.

Sincerely,

Jandel Allen-Davis, President & CEO, Craig Hospital

Kelly Brough, President & CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Robert Cohen, Chairman & CEO, The IMA Financial Group

Tami Door, President & CEO, Downtown Denver Partnership

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Laura Love, Founder & Chief Cultural Officer, GroundFloor Media | CenterTable

Paul Washington, Market Director of the Rocky Mountain Region, JLL

*We understand companies might not be able to take all the action steps at this time and encourage companies to take as many action steps as feasible initially.

Companies that have taken the pledge:

John Hayes

Chairman, President & CEO, Ball Corporation 

Raju Patel

Senior Vice President; Market Executive & Denver Market President, Bank of America

Rich Benensen

Managing Partner, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck 

Crissy Fanganello

President & CEO, City BuildHer

Jandel Allen-Davis

President & CEO, Craig Hospital

Helen Drexler

President & CEO, Delta Dental of Colorado

Kelly Brough

President & CEO, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Tami Door

President & CEO, Downtown Denver Partnership

Lisa Beauchamp

President, Global Security Solutions

Laura Love

Founder & Chief Cultural Officer, GroundFloor Media | CenterTable

Sylvia Young

President & CEO, HealthONE

Kirsten Benefiel

CEO, HSS

Robert Cohen

Chairman & CEO, The IMA Financial Group

Paul Washington

Market Director of the Rocky Mountain Region, JLL

Mike Bearup

Denver Officer Managing Partner, KPMG 

Mark Beese

President, Leadership for Lawyers 

Janine Davidson, Ph.D.

President, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Jim Johnson

Shareholder, Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti PC

Ryan Beiser

Regional President, PNC

Jesus Salazar

Co-Founder, President & CEO, Prosono

Kirk Mielenz

CEO, RevGen Partners

Rick Kinning

Chairman, CEO & President, RK

Walter Isenberg

Co-Founder, President & CEO, Sage Hospitality Group

Lora Ledermann

Founder, CEO & Creative Director, Scream Agency

Kate Lyda

Principal, Staro Insights

Lori Fox, Maren Steward and Tamra Ward

Principal, Taloma Partners

Jim Tooley

CEO, USA Basketball

Carla Dore

President & CEO, Workplace Resource

Ben Fowke

Chairman of the Board & CEO, Xcel Energy

Frequently Asked Questions:

Companies that sign the pledge will be asked to report their commitments to action in 6 months, starting January 2021. Actions do not need to be completed in the 6-month time frame. We are encouraging companies to devise/refine their commitments to action within that time frame. For example, IMA Financial Group is committing to mandatory diversity and inclusion training in the next 12 months for its employees.

Companies are pledging to listen, learn and lead in addressing racism.

We understand companies may not be able to pledge to take all the action steps outlined and execution of the pledge will vary by company. Companies are encouraged to commit to as many of the actions, as feasible, and a minimum of one action per category (listening, learning, leading) that aligns with your company’s goals and progress to date.

This work is a journey and will take years to implement strategically.

B:CIVIC will elevate the collective commitments to action. There will not be an individual scorecard or report published, by company. Our goal is to celebrate the collective commitments (roll-up trends) and highlight a few best-in-class stories. (e.g. The details of each pledge will not be published). The pledge content will also guide the resource development we work with partners to provide the community to support those goals.

Companies pledging to Colorado Companies Uniting Against Racism are committing to develop some action steps, over the next 6 months, for their companies to combat racism by listening, learning and leading more effectively.

Colorado Companies Uniting Against Racism is a CEO-initiated pledge-to-action supported by B:CIVIC, an organization of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. (The Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, along with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, are leading the Prosper Colorado initiative.)

Companies committing to the Inclusive Economy initiative are joining a coalition of companies diving into inclusivity work (educate, recruit, hire, support, and advance employees of color and investing in the upskilling and success of jobseekers and entrepreneurs of color), with the support and resources of the Inclusive Economy movement, to execute on their commitments and measure their progress over time.

Inclusive Economy is a collection of CEOs, Eds and other business leaders, led by Helen Young Hayes of Activate Workforce Solutions and 25 Founding CEOs/Leaders.

Several companies in Colorado have already committed to, or are considering, both pledges including IMA Financial Group and Craig Hospital.

Both engage with Prosper Colorado as the umbrella regional initiative to create the best place in the nation to live, work and do business – no matter your race, ethnicity or gender.

Additional questions?

Contact us at info@bcivic.org.