In a letter to Bozzuto employees, Bozzuto Management Company President Stephanie Williams stated:
Yesterday wasn’t an ordinary Monday. After a weekend of demonstrations in response to the senseless and tragic deaths of black Americans, my heart was weighed down by a range of emotions—sadness, despair, desperation and outrage. How can a nation that promises me civil liberties, freedom and protection so callously take the lives of people who look like me, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd? Sadly, there are others. It never has been nor will it ever be okay to devalue the lives of black and brown people in this country.
I am not alone. Yesterday, I had several black and brown Bozzuto family members reach out to share their stories of heartbreak. We are scared for our sons, our daughters, our brothers and our sisters. We simply want to nurture and care for our families in peace—in the same way that others can, oftentimes without realizing the privilege built in to their ability to do so. While I may not speak for everyone, I think it’s safe to say that many of our Bozzuto family members of color are hurting and simply moving from one day to the next, hopeful that tomorrow will be better than today. Hoping that an international pandemic that is disproportionately plaguing our communities or someone who has decided to weaponize our skin color does not prematurely take the lives of our precious loved ones.
So, in response to Toby’s call to action, let’s stand up. But first, let’s talk. We are a company that is guided by four very bright stars, one of which is concern. I urge you to check on one another. Chances are, your colleague is more than willing to share their story and you are willing to listen. Yesterday and this morning several colleagues called or stopped by my office with simple, yet empathetic messages, “I just called to check on you”, “How can I help?“, and “I’ve been struggling to make sense of all that’s happening around us, do you mind talking about it with me?”. These gestures give me hope. I am reminded that there’s more good than evil. I am reminded that we are family taking care of family. This is how we will continue to build trust and hold one another up during this time of anguish and turmoil. Reach out—today.
I am honored to lead a company that is committed to doing the right thing, even when it’s hard and perhaps controversial to do so. We will stand up, and we will do so, together.
Bozzuto Management Company