Statement by Tony Howard, President & CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, regarding the death of Mr. George Floyd and the issues of racial injustice, inequality and oppression of communities of color in America.
On behalf of the 1,200 members of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, our Board of Directors, and our staff, I wish to first express my sincere and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd, who lost his life in a clear criminal act carried out by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, in clear violation of their sworn oath to “Protect and Serve” the residents of their city.
While Mr. Floyd has become a symbol for centuries of oppression and terror here in America, he was, first and foremost, a human being; a son, a brother and a friend to many. Mr. Floyd’s life had irreplaceable value and he deserves to receive the respect and human dignity he was so callously denied in his final moments. We do so by honoring his life and his memory.
I also wish to convey our organization’s firm commitment to addressing the issues of racial inequality, social injustice, and the negative impact these issues have on our own countrymen, in particular our Black and Brown communities.
Guided by the Chamber’s Board of Directors and our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative, we commit to working with our local partners, in both the private and public sectors, to address the sickness that is racism and the pains of injustice it manifests in our community.
The Loudoun Chamber also commits to working with our national partners to address the same issues, and affect the same positive changes, across our nation.
As a charter member of the U.S. Chamber’s National Initiative on Inequality of Opportunity, and of the Association of Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Network, the Loudoun Chamber vows to bring national resources to address these issues locally, right here in Loudoun County.
We also commit to not just to join the national conversation on racism, inequality and injustice, but also to work with our national partners and Federal representatives to bring about the positive changes America so desperately needs.
At all times, the Loudoun Chamber will address these issues and the sometimes-difficult conversations they engender with candor, courage, kindness, and resolve. That begins by acknowledging that it is no longer enough for this Chamber to simply oppose inequality, injustice and discrimination. It is time for us to act.
We must meet our obligation, to our members and our community, to face these issues and our own shortcomings head on in ways that make a meaningful difference in the community, in the Commonwealth and in the County we cherish. And we will meet that obligation, not because of my words, but because of the commitment of our Chamber leaders and members.
-Tony Howard, President & CEO, Loudoun Chamber