The continuing attacks against Asian Americans are shameful and criminal. We call upon everyone in our communities to come together and stand up against any form of hate, discrimination and intolerance. We are better and stronger together. #bettertogether #strongertogether #thepowerofdiversity
-- Patti Poppe, CEO, PG&E Corporation
Editor’s note: The following is a message sent to all PG&E employees from Mary King, PG&E Vice President, Talent and Chief Diversity Officer.
My parents are on the East Coast and it’s been hard to be away from them during this time of COVID-19 separation. My dad recently got the vaccine and I felt some sense of relief. I needed to know my parents were safe.
Like me and regardless of community, our colleagues and customers care about and worry about their elders, but there are things happening now that should concern everyone. I’m talking about the rise in violence against Asians and Asian Americans…especially those who are elderly. This issue was brought up during one of the Town Halls on Wednesday and I’d like to thank the coworker who reminded all of us about this important issue.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, there’s been a disturbing increase in acts of verbal and physical violence against Asian Americans throughout the country. According to a study done by the Asian American Bar Association of New York, there have been more than 2,500 hate crimes reported between last March and September against Asian Americans.
In recent weeks, violence and anti-Asian sentiment in the Bay Area has impacted a number of elderly Asians. The rise in acts of xenophobic violence and trends in these types of statistics is alarming. These elders were in their 60s-90s. Beyond the fact that they were attacked, there has also been a death. And I have to tell you—I believe, and the reports indicate this, that what we’ve been hearing and seeing on the news is also likely an underreporting.
Why am I bringing this to your attention? PG&E’s leadership unequivocally condemns these acts and they are directly in conflict with our values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Naming these difficult issues and talking about them makes us stronger as a community and able to confront hard topics.
I know we’re exhausted from managing COVID-19 and the toll it’s taking on all of us is a lot. I can’t imagine adding to this the fear of being attacked or of our elders being attacked. Everyone needs to recognize this threat to our communities and our coworkers.
What can we each do to help?
Consider your own safety and that of your colleagues and customers as well as your friends, family and neighbors.
Care for one another, look out for those who may be working while distracted and/or feeling unsafe. Continue what you do so well: make our customers feel at ease.
Maintain situational awareness. If you see something, say something.
If you see or hear something offensive or violent, find ways to be an ally. Get help and/or speak up. Don’t allow yourself or your colleagues to be in an unsafe situation.
Use our tools.
If you experience or see any type of misconduct at work, I encourage you to contact the Compliance and Ethics Helpline and Employee Assistance Program.
Thank you for all you are doing to support our fellow coworkers and customers as well as your friends, family and neighbors.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com
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