Insurance Non-Profit Pledges to Match Employee Fundraiser Supporting Local Racial Justice Organizations

JUNE 19, 2020

In commemoration of Juneteenth, 2020 the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Diversity and Inclusion Council announced today that the non-profit will match the proceeds of an employee-led fundraiser for Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington and the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont condemns racism and systemic oppression and stands in solidarity with other local Vermont institutions and organizations to proactively disrupt the status quo. Furthermore, we believe the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are a result of long-standing aggression and racial profiling dating back generations. Remaining silent in the face of overt acts of violence, daily micro aggressions, and injustice towards people of color reinforces and perpetuates this deeply entrenched system. We will not remain silent.

“We are launching this fundraiser today to stand in support of the local leaders who are raising their voices for racial justice,” says Megan Peek, Director of Community Relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “It is long past time for our society to collectively rise against senseless racial violence and begin to take concrete steps to address the health disparities faced by people of color. We support societal racial justice reforms through community-led policies and education.”

As America gathers to protest systemic racism, we are galvanized to listen, speak up, and stand strong alongside one another to fight for what is right and what is just.

If one person is harmed, we are all harmed.

This is our pledge to all Vermonters:

First and foremost, we pledge to act. We will work with our Diversity and Inclusion Council to identify opportunities for growth within our organization and develop concrete steps to closing these gaps. From implicit bias training to hiring practices, we will work with leading organizations to educate ourselves about white privilege and how to support anti-racism work every day and through every interaction.

We pledge to listen and learn. As health care leaders we promise to make a dedicated commitment to understanding and addressing factors that cause African Americans to suffer more than half of the COVID-19 cases and nearly 60 percent of deaths nationwide. We will seek out, listen to, and support advocates and organizations to end racial violence and oppression.

We pledge to be part of the change we wish to see. We will work to support our partner organizations in their efforts to address racial bias and health disparities in communities throughout Vermont, including Black Lives Matter of Greater Burlington, the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance, and Governor Phil Scott’s Racial Equity Task Force. Furthermore, we support the Floyd family’s call to create a national task force that would establish bipartisan legislation focused on ending racial violence and increasing police accountability. We will call on elected officials to commit to a process of healing and we will refuse to support leaders who perpetuate messages of division.