The last thing that the world needs at the moment is another message from a CEO saying that racism is bad. But this isn’t a message just from me — it is the expression of the hurt and outrage felt deeply across the Forrester community at the injustices done to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others. It is the solidarity that we have with our black employees, clients, friends, and the black community at large — to stand with them against the violence, injustice, and inequities brought down on them because of their race. It’s not right, it can’t persist, and we can and must do better. We see you, we hear you, and we stand with you.

The moment requires us to dig deeper as a company into who we are and how we operate. Yes, Forrester’s core values — collaboration, courage, and integrity — are incompatible with racism, exclusion, and a system that devalues lives. But we are reexamining how we apply those values to make sure that they unearth even the most unintentional inequalities and address them head on — a journey we have begun but have much further to go. We are learning how to do better in our own house, including how to recruit, retain, support, and advocate for our employees of color. We have faith that this work, when done genuinely and in earnest, will have impact on the company — and in the broader worlds of our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.

Several months ago, we created a global, employee-led and executive-sponsored Diversity & Inclusion Council to undertake this work. The events of this last week have underscored and accelerated the criticality of our efforts. Our employees, like so many in society, have shared that they want to take action and become better allies to black and minority communities. We are rapidly educating ourselves. Forrester has decided to close our offices for business on Friday, June 5, so that our employees can focus their time on taking action that is right for them, whether that is to listen, learn, speak out, educate, read, peacefully protest, or serve. My activities will include rereading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

We are on a voyage to be better stewards of inclusiveness, fairness, and equity in Forrester and in society. We are very far from perfect on this front — but will persist in taking a forward step every day as we navigate this essential journey.