CEO of Alterra Mountain Company Rusty Gregory sent out a letter to ALL his employees addressing racism in America on Tuesday, June 9.
The full letter is attached below.
To all my Alterra Mountain Company coworkers:
George Floyd’s senseless murder was not just the despicable act of a bad Minneapolis cop. His death and the deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are just the most recent of many examples of violent racism rising out of less obvious and more insidious systemic and institutionalized racism that directly impact members of the Black community.
Progress has been made since my days growing up in Southern California and watching from my bubble of white privilege and protection as racial and class warfare played out in Los Angeles and other cities during the summers of the late 1960s. While societal norms have liberalized and laws against racial discrimination have been strengthened, Black and other communities of color continue to suffer disproportionately from police brutality, discrimination, the current pandemic, climate change and too little support from too many of our public and private institutions and companies.
I thought deeply about this throughout the last week in an attempt to get my arms around what I could and should do as a white man of privilege who has never personally experienced these inequities. I came to the conclusion that merely standing against racism and discrimination does little to create change. Talk and intentions are cheap. So, I choose to act, as an individual and as your CEO.
As an individual, I commit to listening to the handful of Black friends I am privileged to have, to learn about their communities’ circumstance and how I can be of the most help. I commit to take some of the benefit I have received from my privileged life and work and make contributions to Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Center for Constitutional Rights – organizations at the vanguard of this revolution of social change that is so long overdue.
As your coworker and CEO, I commit to moving our company beyond the important passive pursuits of being welcoming and inclusive to guests and employees of all colors. Alterra Mountain Company is young – 33 months old to be precise. Our vision is to be “One company of many unique brands building a global mountain community”. I ask you to join me in committing to include the following into our culture:
- Proactively reach out to invite Black Americans and people of color to join our mountain community; to experience the mountains; to learn to ski, ride, climb, hike and enjoy the environment. Recognize that the cost of our experiences and services can be a barrier to participation to those of lesser means and price our products and packages accordingly.
- Actively recruit Black employees and people of all colors, genders and persuasions to pursue their careers and fulfill their ambitions as employees at all levels within Alterra Mountain Company in our offices in Denver and at our mountain destinations throughout North America.
- We have worked hard to create an innovative business plan and platform to become the most successful mountain destination company in the world. These painful times compel us to draft an equally innovative “Plan and Platform of Purpose” to support our beliefs in equality of opportunity, diversity, inclusion and justice to become the most respected mountain destination company in the world.
- To make sure this letter and the commitments it contains be just the beginning of the actions we will take, not the end. We need to cultivate the awareness these unspeakable events have catalyzed by beginning a conversation in our company and keep it going until we have learned the many things we can do to ensure the safety and equality of all people and have acted on them.
I write to you about this today in order to inform and empower you to hold me accountable for these personal and company commitments I have made and to encourage you to join me in this cause. My cell number is (omitted). As always call me about any this or anything else, anytime.
NOTE: Know that discriminatory behavior will never have a place at Alterra Mountain Company. Call me personally or contact your Human Resources Department if you feel you have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory behavior. I promise that you can do so without negative consequences.