A Statement on Racial Justice from Farmers Boards of Governors
While companies across the country make statements condemning the senseless deaths of George Floyd and countless other Black Americans, we have heard few statements by corporate Boards. These Boards may be relying on the statements made by the companies they govern, but that silence is part of the problem. Silence is likely not based on racist beliefs, but rather on fear of not knowing what to say. Regardless of the rationale, to be silent is to be complicit. We choose not to be silent.
As the Boards of Governors of the Farmers Exchanges we express our profound sorrow for the Floyd family, but equally to the friends and families of all others who have been victimized. We agree that Black lives matter and express our disdain for systemic racism, as well as our support for all those who are peacefully advocating for racial justice.
As Governors we serve a diverse multicultural and multiethnic customer base. We believe it is our responsibility to ensure that all Farmers customers are welcomed, and never discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This commitment extends to the thousands of Farmers employees, our vendors, and the many agents who proudly serve the Farmers brand.
It is our duty to lead, but also our duty to listen. We are listening to the members of the Farmers Black Professionals Alliance (“BPA”) who have shared their experiences in the Farmers workplace, and challenged us to support change. We are listening to Farmers Group, Inc. CEO Jeff Dailey whose heartfelt statement has inspired our own call to action. And we are listening to our own Board Members who have moved us with their personal stories of racial injustice.
The Farmers Exchange Boards of Governors are steadfast in the promotion of basic human dignity and justice for all people not only in words, but in action. Like Farmers, Governors are making personal donations to organizations that support racial justice and civil rights. Furthermore, the Boards are also committed to continue recruiting Governors who are as diverse as the customer base we serve.
The Exchange Boards of Governors pledge to continue partnering with Farmers management and the BPA. Through these efforts, Farmers will make a difference. We will not be silent.
The Executive Committee, on behalf of the Boards of Governors
Alan Gildemeister, Chair
Gary Martin, Vice Chair
Kenneth Bentley, Chair
Frederick Kruse, Vice Chair
Ronald Marrone, Chair
Sherman Lewis, Vice Chair