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Racism must end: standing in solidarity with Jewish communities

We’ve recently seen a rise in violent attacks against ethnic and religious Jews in the U.S. and other countries.

At BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, our collective belief is that racism cannot be tolerated and has to be stopped. Everyone has a right to live with dignity and free from fear, and there’s no place for prejudice, intolerance or violence in our company, our state or our nation.

This is a message we’ve had to relay too many times in the past year, following attacks on African-Americans and Asian Americans that have resulted in death and fractured communities.

Every time we deliver this message it’s heartbreaking, and every time we hope it’s the last. But we remain steadfast in our commitment to creating lasting social change for all Tennesseans.

Following these attacks, an employee reached out to me and wrote, “Racism is racism, regardless of the target.” BlueCross and its employees agree with that assessment unanimously, and stand united in our commitment to diversity and equality.

BlueCross intentionally cultivates a workforce that reflects the people we serve, and fosters a culture that celebrates people of all races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities and generations.

Recently, we held another in our series of Cultural Awareness sessions for our employees, this time on the culture of Israel. I was fortunate to be part of that event, and opened by emphasizing the reason behind these conversations — celebrating our diverse workforce. At BlueCross, we believe our differences are one of our greatest strengths and that learning about one another brings us closer together.

This unity of course includes Jewish people, and we refuse to send a message of complicity through silence on these specific attacks. We acknowledge the very real, very harmful history of racism and violence against the Jewish community, and we condemn these most recent senseless acts. We will not waver in our commitment to speak out, take action and unite.

About Ron Harris, Vice President, Corporate Workforce Diversity

A photo of the authorRon is responsible for cultivating a corporate culture where diversity and inclusion are aligned with the company's strategies and values. He provides strategic leadership and counsel for diversity initiatives within the organization, including diversity awareness training, recruitment, cultural competency training, employee development and community outreach.

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