We are stronger together
By Amy Zupon
The events of the past few weeks have caused deep pain, reflection and, we hope eventually, lasting progress on the issue of racial discrimination in America. As we mourn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other lives tragically and unjustly cut short, we must also listen to the millions around the world calling for the end of systemic injustices against the Black community.
While Vertafore’s stance on discrimination has always been clear to our employees and customers, it is more important than ever for us to say—often and publicly—where we stand as an organization. We do not condone any behavior, internally or externally, that discriminates against or marginalizes anyone on our team, our families or communities, locally and globally. We have many faces on our team and we prize the richness of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives that brings to our workplace.
We are stronger together.
But at Vertafore, we also recognize that everyone has an active role to play in helping to combat injustices and to create lasting, positive systemic change. As demonstrations started to build throughout our country, Vista Founder, Chairman, & CEO Robert Smith publicly shared his emotions and reactions, and I was particularly moved by this passage:
We may not be able to mend all the broken parts of our society immediately, but we can each contribute the love and understanding in our hearts and in our souls to our families and our communities. Take the time to reach out to the communities that are grieving most, and let them know that you support them and we are one.
In that spirit, we’re proud to announce three initiatives that Vertafore will lead in support of the Black community and the broader causes of racial and social justice:
Initiative #1: Voices for Change.
In the coming weeks and months, Vertafore will host a series of fireside chats discussing issues of race, social justice, and diversity and inclusion with leaders from the Black community and beyond. These conversations will be conducted with the goal of elevating important voices while educating our Vertafore community on how we can positively contribute to the progress we need in our country.
Initiative #2: Opening career pathways through internships and mentoring
Last week Vertafore welcomed our second group of interns from the internX program, which connects candidates from underrepresented communities to STEM internships. Going forward, we will redouble our commitment to providing career pathways for diverse employees by expanding the number of interns we bring on each year through this program and by strengthening our leadership and mentoring programs to ensure a meaningful internship experience.
Initiative #3: Engaging with local communities
We will provide guidance and support for Vertafore employees, customers and partners who want to volunteer their time and resources in support of racial and social progress. This includes expanding our existing partnerships with code.org, an organization dedicated to expanding access to computer science in schools in underserved communities, as well as the Denver Public Schools Foundation in our headquarter city, with whom we’ve partnered in the past to fund initiatives to expand technology education.
In addition to expanding these local initiatives, we will work to identify new opportunities for employees and partners to get involved with organizations that support underserved youth in the communities where we live and work.
We intend to play an active role in creating positive social change and will continue to look for additional opportunities to help our communities. We invite you to join us and look forward to working with you in creating a more just, equitable and peaceful future.