Messages from BGE CEO Carim Khouzami and the BGE Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable Community Initiative
BGE CEO Carim Khouzami sent the following message to all BGE employees on March 26, 2021:
As our nation faces recurring tragedies linked to a long history of structural and systemic racism that has fomented hate and relegated entire communities to the margins of society for generations, you have ramped up your commitment to being an influential voice for change inside and outside of our company.
Now we’re processing another act of senseless violence impacting a community of color, this time in Atlanta. One shooter, six Asian women and two others dead. A horrifying example of what has been a disturbing increase in hatred directed at Asian Americans since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In early March, BGE’s Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable (RISE) Community Initiative called attention to this issue in a message to all employees, reminding us that Asian Americans not only have to be concerned about the normal challenges of life, but also the heightened potential of discrimination and violence.
These challenges are not new and they will persist unless we all acknowledge what’s happening and commit to action—and it starts with our affirming the pain of those who for too long have been silenced by institutionalized injustice.
It’s in this effort where your voice continues to be invaluable, especially in the wake of tragedy when fear and uncertainty often overwhelm us. I’m proud that our colleagues from the Baltimore chapter of Exelon’s Asian American Resource Group are taking the lead. You can read some of their thoughts here. Speaking up takes courage, and for anyone who has been the target of hatred and violence because of who they are, it’s exhausting – physically, emotionally, mentally. Hate has no place in our company or in our society, so if you see something, say something. I also encourage you to revisit Exelon CEO Chris Crane’s recent message, where he implores us to “work together to create communities where everyone feels included, supported, and safe.” Finally, and perhaps most importantly, connect with and listen to your coworkers, family, and friends to discuss these incredibly difficult issues that must be addressed.
Let me be clear: a more diverse, more equitable, more inclusive BGE is both a moral and business imperative. And our transformation will resonate beyond our walls.
Thank you for standing together to support our Asian American colleagues and communities, and thank you for all that you do.
BGE’s Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable (RISE) Community Initiative sent the following message to all BGE employees on March 4, 2021:
Over the past year, there has been a disturbing increase in expressions of hatred directed at members of the Asian American community. These attacks, which range from racial epithets to brazen violence, are rooted both in longstanding bigotry and something unique to this era: the xenophobic weaponization of COVID-19’s geographic origin. While the statistics document an increase, the problem may be even more prevalent than we know. A report released last week by the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that all hate crimes are underreported by as much as 40 percent.
That translates to painful conversations and worry among Asian Americans who not only have to be concerned about the normal challenges of life, but also the heightened potential of discrimination and violence. That means feeling unsafe, cautioning loved ones to be careful, and always wondering when ugly words or worse will be directed their way. It’s no way to live.
As members of the Racially Inclusive, Safe, and Equitable (RISE) Community Initiative, we are charged with developing a transformative vision for BGE’s role as a leader of positive change for racial justice, both in our company and in the communities we serve. To do so we must call attention to systemic racism wherever it exists, denounce it with intention, and help create a space where everyone—of every race and background—has an opportunity to make meaningful contributions toward our shared vision of a better, more just world.
BGE celebrates these core values, and our company’s leadership implores all employees to speak up and speak out so together we can rally around an equitable path forward. As Carim reminded us in a recent message, we have an opportunity to ensure that our collective actions on diversity, equity, and inclusion match our words consistently. We cannot rest until Asian Americans and other marginalized members of our communities no longer feel unsafe because of who they are.
Please join us in showing support for our Asian American colleagues. We encourage you to contact the Baltimore chapter of Exelon’s Asian American Resource Group and the Exelon Pan-Asian Leadership Council for ways to get involved.
Thank you and take care.