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Friday, September 22, 2023

Do Not Stand Silently

By Terry Akin / June 4, 2020

Sixty years have passed since the Greensboro Four heroically sat down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter to stand up for what was right. And here we are still.

As I shared with Cone Health’s 12,000 employees on Friday, we cannot be silent while, across our country and here at home, people continue to be targeted and endangered based on their skin color. The brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a White police officer who held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes is the latest in a series of long-standing inequalities faced by people of color in general, and Black men in particular.

These are family members, co-workers, colleagues and friends.

As a husband, father and son myself, I can’t even begin to imagine the pain these incidents have caused. I also know that, as a White man, I have never had to deal with prejudice, discrimination or systemic racism that puts me in danger or degrades my very humanity based on the color of my skin.

I am tired of the excuses. This is the time for real change.

Please join me and many other business and community leaders in speaking up against racism today. Commit to build relationships across color lines, have tough conversations, educate yourself, recognize your own personal biases, and hold others accountable for discrimination. Share your support by using #TriadAgainstRacism on your social media channels.
Good people can no longer sit in silence. Stand boldly with me for justice everywhere.

Terry Akin is CEO of Cone Health.


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Since 1967, the Carolina Peacemaker has served as North Carolina’s leading news weekly with a national reputation. Founded by Dr. John Kilimanjaro, the newspaper is published by Carolina Newspaper, Inc.

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