A message from CentraState President and CEO John T. Gribbin.
Like every person I know who witnessed the murder of George Floyd, people of every race, color or creed, I am appalled and saddened that this happens in our country. But it does and it has… for far too long.
With the internment of George Floyd, one more chapter closes and another more difficult chapter once again opens. Will it be different this time? If we are to finally live by the beliefs that founded America – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness – it must be different this time. And we must commit ourselves to making it so.
America has spent a good part of the last seventy years working to root out blatant racism from our laws and institutions, only to realize that Jim Crow lives in the hearts of too many, aided and abetted by apathy and denial.
At CentraState, we are just now coming off the heights of the most widespread pandemic in one hundred years. It has laid bare the results of racism for all to see: who, besides the elderly, are the most vulnerable among us? We cannot be a society of equals when certain groups of us cannot or do not enjoy the health care that others do. Change starts with each of us looking in the mirror and committing to be the person we believe ourselves to be. It only ends when not one of us believes they have to warn their child to fear another, simply because that other person looks different.
Our mission at CentraState, in its simplest expression, is to improve the health and well-being of the people in our community. It comes with a deep, abiding belief that it means for all people.
We are all familiar with “my country right or wrong.” But most are not aware of the more important part of the phrase: if right, to be kept right, and if wrong, to be set right. The time for setting right is long overdue. Reverend King had it right when he implored us not to judge by the color of one’s skin but by the content of one’s character.
A crisis, such as COVID-19, exposes character. During this crisis, our team and community rose to the challenge and performed heroically and unselfishly, with compassion and understanding. Now, let’s commit to ourselves and to each other that the content of our character is the true measure of our being.