Detroit business leaders speak out against racism, institute plans to combat systemic problems

The CEOs of nine Detroit businesses were joined Wednesday morning with Mayor Mike Duggan and Rev. Wendell Anthony to speak out against racism and to announce new programs to combat systemic issues within their own companies.

DETROIT – The CEOs of nine Detroit businesses were joined with Mayor Mike Duggan and Rev. Wendell Anthony to speak out against racism Wednesday morning.

The business leaders said they condemn the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the “many other men and women whose lives have been cut far too short.”

“As a show of unity, sensitivity and our collective humanity, we declare our uncompromising support for and the application of equal justice for every American.”

Speaking at Wednesday’s event were the following people:

  • Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
  • Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company
  • Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America
  • Jay Farner, CEO Quicken Loans
  • Wright Lassiter, President & CEO, Henry Ford Health System
  • Chris Ilitch, President & CEO, Ilitch Holdings
  • Dan Loepp, President & CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Gerry Anderson, Executive Chariman, DTE Energy
  • Gary Torgow, Executive Chairman, TCF Financial Corporation
  • Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President of Detroit Chapter of the NAACP
  • Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit

The group said they believe “it is the responsibility of every American to speak out against the racism," and that they “stand with the black community in calling for change across the nation.”

The business leaders said they are committing themselves and their companies to reject and eliminate all forms of bias, racism, sexism and violence.

To back up their words, the group said their companies will be investing in programs and policies to help transform disparities that exist, locally and nationally.

The group urged government officials to “hold accountable all individuals involved with the deaths that have occurred.”

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.