At Ridge, one of our core values is a Respect for People. We’re proud to be a an organization where respect for people is critical, and a condition for working here. Because Respect for People is one of our core values, everyone at Ridge will stand together against all forms of racism and injustice.
Ridge supports efforts by its employees to speak up and take action against injustice both at work and outside of work. We also stand with those in our nation who are speaking out against racism, police brutality, and injustice against people and communities of color, especially the Black community.
The killing of George Floyd has galvanized many of us including the Executive team here at Ridge to think hard about what we can do to address the issues that have led to this and so many other similar tragedies and injustices. It all starts with our behavior. How do we perceive, react to, and treat other people? Especially people that are different from us. Different in skin color, appearance, orientation, culture, beliefs, education, and all the other dimensions of the human experience. It is hard to be consistently mindful of our behavior, and even harder to always understand how our behavior can affect others. But the reward for this effort is not only a more just society but a much richer level of connection between our fellow human beings.
However, it is not enough to just focus on our behavior. We must take appropriate action when we witness or experience racism. It is all of our responsibility to stand against those who perpetrate crimes of injustice.
While it is easy to rush to the nearest electronic platform and issue a proclamation, what is clear is that our everyday actions will ultimately speak much more loudly than mere words scrolling across a screen. We are proud of our employees and the way we work hard to treat each other, our business partners, and our customers with the level of respect and professionalism that is in alignment with our values.
We are committed to Diversity and Inclusion. As an organization Ridge is undertaking specific activities to improve the opportunities for people that have historically been the subject of discrimination. We are creating a small committee that will focus on improving our outreach and recruiting among under-represented minorities with a specific emphasis on the Black community.
For some time Ridge has offered a very generous educational assistance program to employees who do not have the financial means to further their own or their children’s education. While open to all employees, we are redoubling our efforts to reach out to employees specifically who may have felt reluctant or intimidated to participate. We are beginning to make regular donations to the WISP program at Sonoma State University which provides scholarships to students who are the children of vineyard and winery workers.
We are supporting organizations that have made it their mission to take constructive action to address the issues of racism, and discrimination. One of those organizations is the NAACP, whose mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Finally we have just started to implement a program to encourage and support volunteerism by our employees. We can be a force for good in our company and within our communities by listening, learning, and acting. We must ALL do this.