A LETTER FROM OUR CEO
Goodwill Industries of East Texas first and foremost stands against racism in all forms. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is a part of the Goodwill DNA and a part of our legacy as set forth by our founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms, who emphatically believed in the value of ALL men and women.
“Friends of Goodwill, be dissatisfied with your work until every person in your community has an opportunity to develop to their fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living,” Rev. Edgar J. Helms, 1941.
We understand that it is not enough to state that we are not a racist organization, we must be proactive in developing equitable policies, and consistent in delivering fair practices. It is also not enough that I, a black woman, was chosen seven years ago to lead this organization.
To this end, we are re-doubling our efforts and commitment of racial equality. We pledge to be intentional in our recruitment of people of color on our Board of Directors, our Leadership Team, and Managers.
Several years ago, we surveyed the communities we serve in East Texas and vowed to align our Board and the leaders of the organization proportionate to the individuals and communities we serve. We accomplished this goal and continue to evaluate ourselves annually. Still, we can do more.
- We will actively and deliberately engage more staff and consumers to hear their voices more often than we currently do via surveys, meetings, and one-on-one discussions.
- We will be more transparent in our efforts, posting our racial equity work.
- We will advocate specifically against racism.
- We will share best practices with the non-profit and business communities.
- We will ask our business partners and vendors to stand with us.
- We will lead from a position of strength, education, and enlightenment.
Finally, we appreciate the voices of protests, the acts of human kindness across all races, and those who still struggle to find their voices. The systematic racism that has plagued this country will not be dismantled easily or quickly. It will take a systematic approach at all levels and in all areas from healthcare and housing structures, to education and employment strategies. If we continue to work together towards a better nation and a better world – Good Will Come!
Kimberly B. Lewis
President & CEO