Our Commitment to Combat Racial Inequities
A Letter From Our Chief Executive Officer
To Delta Community’s Members and Partners,
I want to acknowledge the rightful public anguish and anger over the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others before them. The disturbing images and details that have been made public recently are just the latest evidence of an unpardonable reality that business and civic leaders must help change – individual and institutional racism persist in our country and it must be identified, discussed and dealt with.
During this pivotal time, I believe it is extremely important for me, other business leaders and elected officials who have not experienced such prejudices and discrimination personally to listen to and learn from those who contend with inequality and fear in their daily lives. I also realize it is my responsibility as Chief Executive Officer to articulate how Delta Community advocates for and contributes to the positive change our country desperately needs on this most critical social issue.
As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution, our organization was founded on a commitment to cooperation and fairness, and we strive to bridge racial divides through the following deliberate and purposeful operational practices:
- We welcome consumers from all backgrounds. Our membership base consistently reflects the diverse population of the metro Atlanta area we are privileged to serve. We partner with local TV and radio stations (WSB, WXIA, Comcast and Majic 107.5) to promote our services on specific programs with a predominantly African American audience and will continue to evaluate other opportunities to optimize this outreach.
- We value diversity in our workforce at every level. Discrimination based on race, ethnicity or sexual orientation is not tolerated in any form. We benefit greatly by having employees and Board members with varied experiences and opinions. These differences allow us to learn from one another as well as to make smarter, more informed business decisions. With a diverse team, we are able to evaluate opportunities and challenges from multiple perspectives. I am encouraged by the number of minority professionals we have promoted or recruited into leadership roles during my tenure, and we have introduced formal succession planning, leadership development and career coaching programs to understand our employees’ career aspirations and prepare them for professional advancement.
- We invest in our communities to foster inclusion and prosperity. Our Community Development department has built an impactful program that focuses on the physical and financial well-being of economically disadvantaged youth and families. We allocate more than $850,000 in funds annually, and our ongoing activity includes scholarships for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); educational workshops on budgeting and career planning; and donations to non-profit organizations that offer job training and other services to those who have not had access to the same opportunities as the general population or face hardships rooted in systemic racial inequities.
- We are always open to feedback on how we can do better. Open, constructive discourse is key to a great work environment, corporate culture and public trust. We proactively foster and engage in dialogue with our employees, members and community partners as a means to hold ourselves accountable to our broader ideals and everyday professional values. Internally, we hold quarterly Town Hall meetings at all of our locations and an all-employee event each February, and these meetings provide us a forum to discuss all matters of concern. Employees also know my door is always open. Externally, we survey members monthly and leverage various social media platforms to encourage and engage in public dialogue.
Like many of you, I have listened closely to the impassioned and inspiring messages of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms over the past week in the wake of the violence and crime that have erupted amid the legal and justifiable demonstrations in our city. I deeply respect her call for coalescence. My father spent his entire career in city administration overseeing the delivery of essential public services in large municipalities, including Philadelphia, Savannah, Melbourne (FL) and Tampa. He and my mother taught me the need to recognize everyone as a neighbor and to collaborate with others for the greater, common good. I offer this personal detail as insight into my sincere desire to ensure Delta Community’s environment is one of mutual respect and collective success for members and employees alike.
I know we all desire an end to racial injustice and for the healing of our nation, but we understand there is at least a generation’s worth of work still ahead. Each of us can make a difference individually, and through the renewed and combined efforts of our 1,100 employees, Delta Community will achieve more.
Our thoughts and support are with the Floyd, Taylor and Arbery families along with all who have suffered pain and trauma from recent events.
Chief Executive Officer