A Statement of Solidarity from SPI President Fred Kessler

Dear SPI Community:

I feel it is time for SPI to speak out about what has been happening across the nation in recent days. Protests are taking place in most major cities over not just one injustice but a system of injustices.

George Floyd was murdered. We are angered and appalled by his killing and the far too common killings in Black and Brown communities across America. As a nation, we must stand together and recognize that this wasn’t an isolated incident nor something unique to any one city. It happened because of racism and injustice that is deeply rooted in our society that will take hard work to repair.

Some may, wrongly, believe that racism is gone in America. It isn’t. The legacy of generations of systemic racism has unfairly stacked the deck. Communities of color get less funding for schools, have unequal access to public services, and new lives born into these communities start with less family wealth than other communities. This means unequal education, unequal access to fairness in the justice system, and having fewer opportunities.

Within SPI, we have a diverse workforce that is the result of being blind to anything but the skills and talent our employees bring to the team. Our processes and systems were designed to look for the best regardless of gender, color of their skin, or whom they love. We’ve seen our own staff harassed and threatened and, as before, we will always have their backs.

What can we do to make things better? Protest peacefully. Don’t allow a tiny fraction of a percent of those protesting who turned to violence define the public conversation. Highlight what is wrong and stand against injustice.

As a company, I will be accelerating an initiative I’ve been working on for several years. I will be working to establish a program that will teach sales skills to those living in poverty. A complete job training program including field experience is the goal. If it succeeds, we can help someone move from minimum wage to having a professional sales career in median or better American income for the rest of their lives. We will prioritize communities where this is needed the most.

We encourage everyone to continue to go out and volunteer. Help others. By helping others, you take back your own power in a time where we’ve never felt more powerless.

Times for Americans haven’t been more trying in our lifetimes. We face a disease that has been allowed to run rampant, so far killing more than 100,000 men, women, and children. We face economic hardship not seen since the Great Depression. We’re reminded of injustice with appalling scenes like that of Mr. Floyd.

Standing together, letting our voices be heard, and helping others is the path to healing.

You matter and your lives matter. We stand with you.

Fred Kessler
SPI Founder and President