A Message from Ralph Lauren & Patrice Louvet: Taking Action on Racial Equity
Shared with our global team on May 26, 2021.
Yesterday, we paused operations throughout our business and joined together to honor George Floyd's life and memory — and the countless others who have died at the hands of police brutality and institutionalized racism. It was a day of reflection and reverence, but also one of continued mourning.
Despite the momentary relief we may feel from the verdict in the trial of Mr. Floyd's murder, we know this is not justice. No amount of relief can outweigh the grief of his loved ones and the pain from so many cases that have yet to see accountability. Though it is our hope that this verdict can serve as a turning point in American history, we know a lot of work lies ahead.
At this time last year, our Company joined our nation and the world in a long-overdue reckoning with racism. We examined the ingrained biases, the apathy that accompanies privilege and the systems that were built to suppress people of color — particularly for our Black, African and African American colleagues and communities.
Our promise to you then was to confront this reality by listening, learning and taking action. We’re still committed to each of those promises, and we don’t intend to stop.
Our early actions were anchored in creating teams and forums that set us up to deliver thoughtful progress and to uphold meaningful accountability. Our intention was to invest time in building the infrastructure required to sustain our focus over the long term.
An important step in this process was forming our Black Advisory Council in The Americas and our Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic Council (BAME) in EMEA, building on our existing D&I Employee Groups. They are empowered to directly advise our Executive Leadership Team. These two councils, in partnership with our Diversity and Inclusion Team and guided by our Global D&I Steering Committee, have established 11 specialized Working Groups intended to guide our Company’s actions to eliminate racial disparities and elevate the voices and perspectives of Black and underrepresented employees. Their collective efforts produced a blueprint for delivering on the commitments we made last year and have inspired us to create new goals, take on further work and look to create a better future.
While there is a lot more to be done, we are making meaningful early progress — which you can learn more about on our solidarity page, where we will continue to share updates as our work continues.
The next chapter for our Company won’t be defined by any single product or brand campaign we create — it will be defined by what we stand for.
As a beacon for American culture and values in the world, racial equity must be at the very heart of who we are and how we live our Purpose. With integrity as our compass, we promise to continue to listen, learn and take action into a better tomorrow.