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A Letter to Our Employees About George Floyd

On Monday, June 1 st, McGraw Hill CEO Simon Allen posted this note to employees on our internal social platform:


By: Simon Allen, CEO, McGraw Hill
Tags: Article, Classroom Best Practices

Last week we saw the senseless death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of a police officer. It’s horrific. It’s depressing. And we’ve seen this happen way too many times before.

People are hurting. The legacy of racism is evident in education, jobs and the justice system. It is apparent in the toll the pandemic has taken in Black and Latino communities. The question I always ask myself after something like this happens is what can we do? How can we, as individuals and as a company, make a difference? How can we create a more diverse and inclusive world for those with whom we interact? The answers are not easy.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Working as we do in education, we know that it can open minds and opportunities – that’s why our vision is to unlock the potential of each learner. That means that regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnic background or any of the other ways that can be used to divide us, we must continue to do our best to help students understand the world around them and develop their knowledge and skills so they can live fully and equally. That means they must be able to see themselves in our content. That means we must make our course materials accessible to all learners, and that we must work with schools and colleges to help them address equity issues.

One of the things that I treasure about McGraw Hill is our commitment to inclusion and diversity. It makes us better. It makes us stronger. We are far from perfect, but we continue to strive to make our company a more caring, diverse and inclusive place where our differences are valued and our common humanity celebrated.

The events in Minneapolis that have reverberated around the world will affect each of you differently. Some of you will want to talk about it – and others will find that difficult. Please know that the Employee Assistance Program is available to everyone.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” We all want to live. We all want to breathe. In our work and in our personal lives, let’s commit ourselves to being that change.