Roth Speaks to Events of Past Week

29 Oct 2018


Today, Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO of IPG, sent the following note to all employees regarding the events of the past week.

This weekend’s horrific events at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh are just another example of intolerance, hatred and despicable violence. The news compounds other heinous acts that occurred last week when more than a dozen pipe bombs were sent to a former American president, vice president, and secretary of state as well as other current and former officials and private citizens who had spoken out publicly against the tenor of political discourse in the United States today. In addition, a man targeting Black Americans killed two at a grocery store in Kentucky. The lives that were senselessly lost remind us how important it is for each of us to respect one another’s differences and honor one another’s culture – in all aspects of our lives.

At IPG, we take diversity, equity and inclusion very seriously, and we are working every day to ensure that all of our employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves – and all of their dimensions of diversity – to work. It’s part of our value system, and these horrific events serve as a critical reminder that, despite the hatred that sadly exists in our world, our values should continue to inspire us and define us. This is not a political, partisan, or even religious issue, but rather one of humanity and respect for one another.

These incidents are powerful, painful reminders that we all need to ask ourselves both individually and as a community what we can do to stop this vicious cycle of inflammatory rhetoric and the violence it breeds. They also remind us of the very real concerns and emotional issues our colleagues bring to work every day. The colleague sitting next to you might be experiencing tremendous grief or identification with the groups who have been targeted or they may feel depressed or even frightened based on such events.

As several of our agency leaders commented during IPG’s recent Inclusion Awards programming, events in our world affect the way many of us feel, and it doesn’t necessarily stop when we leave home and come to work. To provide a forum for employees to discuss the events of the past weekend and related issues any of us needs to talk about, we are going to host another inclusion conference call soon; details will be sent shortly.

For now, please join your colleagues and send prayers and thoughts to the victims in Pittsburgh and Kentucky, their families, friends and neighbors. The assailant in Pittsburgh singled out HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. HIAS, whose mission is to “help the stranger, protect the refugee,” has helped millions of people around the world, not just people of the Jewish faith. Certainly, the organization’s motto is a philosophy that has helped this country represent the best of both democratic and human values, and can provide direction as we move forward together.