Dear Duperon Work Family,

I think we agree as a team, from your many comments that we have been very proud of our team as we have delivered TEAM DUPERON: DARING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: for People, for Water and for the Planet.  Even under the circumstances of COVID.   Then the flood.  We have been agile, caring, and continued to serve.  We have remained safe and healthy.  We have seen people rise to the occasion and work productively with a spirit of gratitude.

Our nation is once again being tested in the heartbreaking, unwarranted death of George Floyd.  It has created reactions ranging from use of power and control, riots, and looting to peaceful protests and occasionally a miracle of caring such as what happened in our own Flint, MI where the Sheriff put down his weapons of defense and instead said, “We are upset too and what can we do?”  They were asked to join the march and they did.  Simply walking beside and caring for each other, being willing to be vulnerable and to see, hear and value other human beings created a different outcome for that city and inspired the world.

Martin Luther King, in his brave stand for a DREAM that all people would be equal also stated that we must not be silent about things that matter.  And as a colleague recently was reminded, silence is its own communication.

It is a time of sorrow and a time of opportunity for our country.  It is important to be observant and discerning about the many narratives being given.  I want you to know that we as a company, quietly and with conviction, consistent with the highest purpose of our company, we say ‘No. Unacceptable.  This shall not be.’ 

All persons regardless of the differing, beautiful shades of skin, or any other point of discrimination, shall be known and celebrated for the gift that they are, the dreams that they hold and the hopes that they bear.  That we will stand for the safety and justice, inclusion and equality for all citizens of our community, of our state and nation. 

To our team we urge all to choose words that we yearn to hear.  Bring dreams and hopes to which we can all aspire.  To use our training to listen powerfully, actively.  Let us be better together, stronger, rise in all the ways that we were made. Truly, we will be a force of nature if we do. Let us first bring our hearts to peace, then our families, our neighborhoods and communities.  Let us choose to honor that which is within each of us.

We as humans will often not dare to engage because we fear we will do something wrong, or something that causes pain… or simply, because we don’t know how.  Begin by just checking in, caring, and then listening to how it is for others.  If you have colleagues, beloved family members, friends and neighbors who are of color, reach out to them.  Tell them that they are not alone. That you hold them close.  In the few conversations I have had I want you to know that our silences, particularly those of us who are Caucasian, are noticed and they cause pain.  See if you can, dare to care and bring as much generosity as possible for those who fear, for those who believe in force, those who despair, and for those who are resigned that they will never be seen as they truly are, given a color of skin.

There are many ways we can learn about racism, inequality, inclusion, bias and we urge you to use this time to gain more understanding of the words that are used to discuss racism.  It was an eye opening experience to attend Diversity day in the Leadership Saginaw 2020 curriculum to see how the world is experienced by so many people of color.  It is not a world to which we aspire, I promise you. 

There is a favored quote, in my own reflections this past week that resonated, from Mother Terese, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”  If COVID taught us anything, is that we are one humanity around the world.  That what is most precious, is each other.  We do, indeed, belong to each other. 

Black Lives Matter.  The Lives of People of Color Matter.  I dream of a day when we will look back and wonder why this ever needed to be said. I dream that our children and grandchildren have a world that works for everyone.  That when we leave this earth we will have left this legacy.

We at Duperon, have been so blessed in so many ways.  I believe in people.  I believe in us, team Duperon.  I believe that, in this too, we have the power to make a difference.    I thank you for who you are for each other and the world.

United we stand,
Duperon Corporation

Tammy Bernier, CEO

Mark Turpin, President

Terry Duperon, Chairman of the Board

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