Along with you, I have watched with anger and profound sadness the events unfolding across the U.S. this past week. The threats and use of violence against members of the Black community are not new. George Floyd, Christian Cooper, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are now familiar names for all the wrong reasons; the most recent victims in a series of horrific incidents. No one should ever have to fear their safety or the safety of their family members because of the color of their skin, but they still do. This reflects a difficult truth: our nation has a long way to go to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all people are equally respected.

The acts we’ve witnessed go against everything that we as a company, and that I personally, stand for. We embrace diversity, inclusiveness and create a sense of belonging because we know it’s what makes us better as colleagues, as a company, and as citizens of the world. The core of what unites us at Mastercard is our commitment to decency: how I treat you and how you treat me – always a hand on my back, not on my face. We work hard to ensure that people of all backgrounds, cultures and perspectives have a voice and a seat at the table. I assure you that racism or mistreatment of any kind will never be tolerated here.

I understand. As I built my life in this country, I know what it’s like to be afraid and judged because of how you look. To have someone take actions because of your appearance, not your character.

I see you, I hear you and I am here for you. Your leaders are too. Whatever you are feeling, you are not alone. Reach out to any of us or connect with your colleagues in our Business Resource Groups. You can also get confidential support through our Employee and Family Resource Program.

These issues go far beyond our company. During this time when our nation feels lost, troubled and divided, we may feel powerless, but we’re not. We can control what we say and what we do. Take action locally. Make your voice heard to your elected officials. Above all, bring your decency and compassion to every person and every situation you encounter. I promise you I will do the same.

Ajay

Photo of Ajay Banga
Ajay Banga, CEO, Mastercard
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