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A Message from John Asbury, CEO, on Recent Tragedies and Racial Injustice

This week has shown us all what difficult times we live in, and I feel compelled to address what is happening in our own communities and communities across this country. While the current pandemic has brought the nation unique and often overwhelming challenges, the Black community has faced a great injustice and violation of their human rights. The brutal deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others are heartbreaking. It both angers and saddens me to have witnessed these senseless acts of violence and injustice. Despite the progress that has been made, systemic racism unfortunately still exists and it is up to all of us, together, to eradicate it. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that we must unite and stand against hatred, violence and racism.

Most importantly, to the Black Community:  We fully recognize the trauma, pain and fear is very real to you and that this may be weighing heavily on you during an already difficult time. We are here to support you, and we stand with you.

Of course, change ultimately begins at home. At Atlantic Union Bank, we expect everyone to be treated with dignity and respect. We must create better opportunities to safely share our unique experiences and learn from one another’s perspectives. In doing so, we can all grow and become more inclusive in our approach and behavior.

I also recognize the limits of my own life experiences and commit to listening to those who have been marginalized and face social and racial injustice every day. In the next few weeks, we will organize opportunities for dialogue with fellow Teammates to reflect, share and learn from each other. These conversations may be uncomfortable but are needed now more than ever. These discussions will help shape an action plan for what we need to do within our organization to ensure we are holding ourselves accountable, listening, learning and being better.   

We stand in support of the Black community and are committed to helping our communities be stronger and more inclusive.  We are looking at ways to support organizations that fight the injustices of inequality and contribute to change in our communities.

I am forever the optimist and feel that hope and belief are necessary. I have hope that we can make a difference, hope in that our actions matter and hope that our nation will unite to end racial injustice. And, I believe working together, we can help bring about the change we all want to see and make a positive difference.

-John Asbury

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