We have work to do

David Kerr
July 22, 2020
Community Impact

We have work to do

Dear Friends,

In the past several weeks, we’ve seen messages from across the globe expressing grief and anguish over racial injustice against the Black community.  Recent travesties of justice underscore the long history of violence and racism Black people in America and Pennsylvania still face.

Influencing public policies to drive racial injustice reforms is long overdue.  Failure to address this reality is not an option.  This work must be done across our society and culture, by everyone – corporations, communities and citizens alike.  AT&T is committed to being part of these conversations and using our corporate toolbox to influence change.  Engaging for change is a moral and business imperative – not just for AT&T but for all companies, and for all communities and citizens. AT&T has begun sparking more conversations and shifting more resources toward addressing this problem.

Through an open letter to elected officials, AT&T’s Executive Chairman Randall Stephenson called on both business leaders and lawmakers, alike, to advocate for reform.  As a member of Business Roundtable, AT&T is calling on Congress to pass bipartisan policing reform urgently. Led by Randall, its Racial Equity and Justice Subcommittee on Equitable Justice recently released principles for policing reform. Learn more about the Business Roundtable principles here.

AT&T’s entertainment company, WarnerMedia, recently hosted a CNN/Sesame Street town hall on racism which can be viewed here.  We are also making an additional contribution of $10 million that includes both cash as well as production assistance and advertising inventory on Warner Media channels and platforms to raise even more awareness for racial justice issues.

Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and the General Assembly – in a bipartisan way – have taken action to address community-based law enforcement issues. Governor Wolf recently signed bills into law that are consistent with the Business Roundtable principles of data collection, transparency, and training, and more policy changes are expected soon. Our team at AT&T is committed to being part of these conversations.

We are also excited about our recent relationship with the PA based Emergency Response Training and Certification Association. This group of public safety and business and community leaders recognizes the importance of robust training for law enforcement including in areas of de-escalation, crisis intervention and mitigating bias.

We have a tremendous opportunity to continue to educate ourselves and advance effective change in the Commonwealth.  Let’s not allow this moment pass by.