Leadership Communications

Corporate leaders need to help fight hate

Chicago Tribune | Letter to the Editor

Each day as I walk through the doors of my firm, I carry many identities. I am Jewish. I am a father and grandfather. I am the grandchild of refugees who fled their country from violence and hate.

I am also executive chairman of a 500-person global company, and have deep concern for my employees and the communities where they and their loved ones live, work and play. The rise of violence, racism and anti-Semitism that we see now is, undeniably, rooted in hate. And it must be countered.

My public and vocal stance aligns with the world’s growing demand for action. In the recently released 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, 76 percent of global respondents “believe that CEOs should take a stand on challenging issues.”

These are extraordinary times. We in the corporate world need to raise our voices against hatred — wherever it surfaces.

I chose to become deeply engaged with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum because my wife, Linda, and I have seen — as we all have — how far unchecked hate and complacency can go.

The museum creates a legacy through education. Its exhibits and programs train the public from schoolchildren to military leaders to law enforcement and the judiciary to become agents of change and gain insight into their own professional and individual responsibilities.

My voice becomes further amplified by partnering with leaders such as former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, an outspoken critic of contemporary anti-Semitism; current Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is raising her voice in her new role; and Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who regularly speaks against hateful rhetoric.

This September, the national holocaust museum, Governor J.B. Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, Cardinal Cupich and I, along with more than 2,000 other Midwest residents, will honor Emanuel at the Risa K. Lambert Chicago Luncheon for his dedication to countering hatred and anti-Semitism.

I urge other corporate leaders to join me in standing up against hatred. Engage in the discussion. Join me in taking on the responsibility before us all to fight this ever-growing environment of hateful discourse.

Richard S. Price

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