Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
At Horizon, we stand firmly against inequality in all forms, including racism, hate, religious intolerances and discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. We recognize that these are not new issues: they are deeply rooted in history and have permeated global society, organizations and the communities in which we live and work for far too long. The time for change is now.
While the institution of racism, hate, discrimination, religious intolerance and inequality requires transformation on a profound scale, we know that it starts with each of us – and what we can do today to bring about lasting impact. As a company, we also understand that effectively eradicating racism, hate and discrimination leveled at any one community means doing so for all diverse communities.
Inclusion at Horizon is driven by our approach to allyship, which centers on supporting people beyond our own background, culture, religious intolerance or experience. It means demonstrating the right behaviors, speaking up and out, listening and learning. It means fostering an environment in which we are ready and willing to have uncomfortable conversations that address bias, helping us all understand what our colleagues directly impacted may be feeling. It also means being accountable to hearing and supporting those who courageously challenge the status quo and offering tangible solutions to combat systemic racism, hate and discrimination – barriers that prevent equity, stifle innovation and cripple society’s potential.
We pledge to be part of the solution through education and self-reflection and call on our peers and other organizations to join us in taking this imperative step forward.
We recognize that true change will only come when we do more than speak – we must act and commit to investing in long-term, sustainable initiatives.
We are proud to be a part of CEO Action for Racial Equity, a coalition focused on advancing racial equity through public policy, specifically aimed at improving the lives of more than 47 million Black people in America through advocating for public policy change. We have also joined 100+ companies in signing the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge. As a part of this initiative, we have identified a Horizon employee to join the Fellowship program.
In addition, as Horizon continues to invest in and elevate the talent of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) within our organization, we’re promoting and developing inclusive leadership behaviors as well as hiring and developing more diverse talent to reflect the communities in which we live and work. In Summer 2021, Horizon will launch a sponsorship program to develop key pipeline talent that focuses on under-represented ethnic minority employees to increase their visibility within the organization with the objective of increasing representation of ethnic minority groups at the most senior levels of the company over time. Horizon stands in solidarity with all BIPOC communities experiencing racism and hate at alarming rates and condemns all forms of hate leveled against them.
As one part of our enduring pledge to combat anti-Black racism, in 2020, Horizon provided support to community organizations addressing racial inequality and racism, including YWCA of Metro Chicago, National Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative, The Bail Project and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, along with other nonprofits working to combat racial justice issues. Other examples of our ongoing investments include plans to expand the support extended to our global cohort of Horizon Scholars to additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Horizon Scholars are made up of students from marginalized communities who are receiving academic scholarships from Horizon. Throughout 2021, we will build upon our existing partnerships to address racial inequity by focusing on opportunities to break the cycle of structural exclusion and racism. These activities include facilitating important dialogues and creating access to opportunities.
We have witnessed a rise in discriminatory acts targeted towards individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent - attacks that have resulted in wrongful and senseless deaths in the United States. To support the AAPI community, in 2021, we provided support to the Asian American Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, the nation’s first legal and civil rights organization serving low-income Asian Pacific American communities, and Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative founded in response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. An important part of the initiative is the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center which launched on March 19, 2020 to track and respond to incident of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.