This is a painful time for our country, and the civil unrest happening in our communities is beyond heartbreaking. My sincerest prayers go out for everyone’s safety. There is sadness. There is frustration. There is anger. And rightfully so. We stand together with our Black team members, operators, suppliers and guests who tragically, as Black Americans, have faced injustice and discrimination their entire lives. I won’t pretend to understand what it is like to live a day in your shoes. We all, as individuals, need to do so much more to educate ourselves and learn how we can do our part to change this unjust, systemic problem in our society.
As we all seek to find answers, I can’t help but think about when we all got together earlier this year for our annual Franchisee meeting, specifically the theme of our event being: Hungry for Better. Those words have added meaning in light of recent events. As a nation, we have much work to do and we must get better.
We’re all searching for what we can do to help, and our core values continue to be a powerful compass for us. When we face challenging times like this, they can help guide and shape our behaviors towards a better society.
Now more than ever before, I think it’s important that we look for opportunities to Practice Kindness. This is something you do every single day in the restaurant and in your personal lives, and now I think this core value applies in an even more significant context. I encourage you to seek out those in your community who are hurting and do something to brighten their day. Be attentive to those who have a different perspective and really listen to their point of view. Engage in learning and conversations, even if they are uncomfortable, that will open you up to even greater understanding of inclusion. I realize this may only be a small step, but this core value of Practicing Kindness is more important than ever, and I believe it can help to move us in the right direction.
We’ve proven over the past few months how important our core value of Growing Stronger Together is as we navigate these unprecedented times. Yet now we have a greater challenge in front of us as we need to Grow Stronger Together as a nation. Our nation is special because of its rich diversity, and we have to celebrate our differences while we seek out ideas that unite us. This is not an easy task, but my hope is that all of you consider what you can do to help heal our nation and Grow Stronger Together.
As we go forward, I welcome your feedback as we work to make meaningful change together, especially from those with firsthand knowledge or experience with racial injustice. Thank you for all that you do to take care of your friends and neighbors. Together, I know that we can make a positive impact on our community, and therefore, our nation.
President and CEO, Culver Franchising System, LLC.