Op-ed: We must speak up and act to end racial inequality

Cummins and Eli Lilly and Co logos

The following op-ed originally appeared in the June 5, 2020 edition of The Indianapolis Star.

The past few weeks have been difficult. We are horrified and angered by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the other acts of discrimination and violence against Black people that we have seen across the U.S. The anger and frustration spilling into the streets reflects longstanding problems that we must address. 

In the U.S., Black people are subject to systemic racism and discriminatory practices in all parts of the country and all sectors of our society. Our education, economic and criminal justice systems are all rife with inequality based on race.  

It pains us that we have such deep-rooted racial and structural inequality in our country. And it saddens us that despite decades of discussion and promises of change, America has not made enough progress.

We live in one country, yet how we each experience our country can depend on our race. For example, how we experience law enforcement – as protectors or as oppressors – is very different. Each new incident of racial profiling or police violence deepens the trauma for members of the Black community. The protests we are seeing are a manifestation of this trauma. Treating the protests with contempt rather than seeking to understand the underlying frustration will only further the divide. Ask yourself, how would you feel if your children or loved ones were under constant threat and what would you do to protect them? 

Actions speak louder than words. Today, we commit to using our voices and our roles as business leaders to speak up and speak out. 

First, we will engage with Black-led groups and civil liberties organizations to listen to their issues and to support them both financially and with resources and skills within our respective companies. 

Second, we will support minority-owned businesses in our communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all businesses, and damage caused by recent looting has further added to these challenges. Minority-owned businesses are a crucial component of how we create opportunities for all in our communities.  

Third, we will support efforts in Indianapolis, in Indiana, and across the country to improve engagement between the police and all members of our community. We are learning about what those efforts should entail, and we are committed to lending our voices toward making real and lasting change.

We also have one request for all of you. Vote. And make sure your family members, your friends, and your neighbors vote, too. We have an opportunity to make a difference in the general election in November and in all subsequent elections. We live in a representative democracy and each of us needs to make sure that our elected officials represent all of the population. If we vote, we can reshape our country and put in place leadership that cares for and reflects the diversity of our communities.  

We all have a role to play in calling for greater accountability from our government, from law enforcement, our neighbors and ourselves. What we have today is simply not enough. We need to work together to root out hate and replace it with a deep and abiding appreciation for diversity, equality, and inclusion. It must start with each of us, and it must start now.

Tom Linebarger                                                                                               
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer                           
Cummins Inc.  

Dave Ricks                                                                                               
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer                           
Eli Lilly and Co        

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Tom Linebarger Chairman and CEO

Tom Linebarger

Tom Linebarger became Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., the largest independent maker of diesel engines and related products in the world, on January 1, 2012.  Prior to becoming Chairman and CEO, he served as President and COO from 2008 to 2011, Executive Vice President and President, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2000 to 2003, and Vice President, Supply Chain Management from 1998 to 2000.

Employee drives Meal Train to feed health care workers on the front lines

The Meal Train's food and desserts have been a big hit among frontline healthcare workers in Columbus, Indiana.
The Meal Train's food and desserts have been a big hit among frontline healthcare workers in Columbus, Indiana.

Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines since COVID-19 first arrived. Cummins Tax Accountant and former Columbus Regional Health (CRH) employee Courtney Imlay knows better than most what they have been enduring during this pandemic and felt compelled to help. 

Imlay had been thinking and praying for guidance to make an impact in her home community of Columbus, Indiana, and help her former colleagues at Columbus Regional Hospital. Her prayers were answered when she heard about a Meal Train taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

"I heard on the news an individual in Indianapolis had created a Meal Train to provide meals for essential employees at the hospitals in Indianapolis,” Imlay said. “I thought that’s it! I could create one to provide meals for essential employees at Columbus Regional Hospital in the critical needs departments."

Meal Train is a crowd sourcing platform based in Burlington, Vermont, that was created in 2010 after a couple organized meals to support a neighborhood family that had a baby. The site allows community members to sign up to pay for meals from community restaurants that are then delivered to recipients and is now used by people around-the-world.  

PUTTING THE TRAIN INTO MOTION

As a former CRH employee, Imlay knew who she needed to contact to make the Meal Train happen and reached out to the CRH Director of Volunteer Services to get everything going.

“After connecting with Rebekah (Walsh) to make sure everything was good at CRH, I posted about the Meal Train on my personal Facebook page, reached out to churches in the community and asked them to post on their social media, and asked CRH to share on their social media.” 

The response by the community was immediate; several individuals, families and small groups signed up to fill the available meal slots. Additionally, several people donated money toward the effort. The response allowed the Meal Train to go beyond frontline workers at CRH and extend to two clinics in the area, PromtMed COVID Clinic and the Family and Internal Medicine COVID Clinic. 

Imlay's Meal Train provided lunch and dinner for 30 individuals at CRH, lunch for 18 employees at PromptMed COVID Clinic, and lunch for 18 employees at the Family and Internal Medicine COVID Clinic. 

“We were able to provide meals for an entire two weeks leading up to the hospital opening back up on May 4,” Imlay said. “On May 4, when the hospital opened back up allowing procedures to happen, we had 500 ice cream sundaes delivered to CRH and 18 delivered to each COVID clinic by Dairy Queen, as a welcome back and to thank the workers for everything they have done during this pandemic.” 

SIMPLE ACTS OF KINDNESS

Imlay doesn’t have any additional Meal Train meals planned, however, she has continued to help during the pandemic by cutting out fabric to make masks and grocery shopping for family members at high risk for the virus. She also has some advice for others looking to help but who don’t know how.

“Simple acts of kindness can go a long way,” Imlay said. “There are so many ways you can give back even from your home, whether that be cutting out fabric for homemade masks, sewing homemade masks, buying groceries for the elderly, making cards to send to nursing homes or shut-ins, etc. Simply sharing a smile with someone will go a long way.” 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Creating a more diverse and inclusive society

SCOTUS

The following was authored by Marya Rose, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Cummins Inc. 

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two rulings that mark positive steps in shared efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive society.

On Monday (June 15, 2020), the Court ruled that the key federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace also protects gay, lesbian or transgender employees from being disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation. We are heartened that the Court ruled to make it clear that this kind of discrimination is illegal, and we will continue to advocate vigorously for the rights of our LGBTQ+ employees and their families.

Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that the Trump Administration sought to rescind in 2017.

The ruling protects more than 800,000 people, who were brought to the U.S. as children, often referred to as Dreamers, and have largely resided here for decades. Dreamers, including many of our Cummins colleagues, have built careers, raised families and contributed to U.S companies, universities and communities. They are as American as any of us and deserve to continue to live and thrive in the U.S. and this important ruling protects them from being deported.

The rulings are encouraging, but there is still much to do on both fronts.

Our immigration system in the U.S. is broken, and we need more systemic change to make it fairer. We need to be able to hire and place the most talented workers in the world where we need them if we are to continue to compete globally. And we need to continue to advocate for equal protection for all LGBTQ+ persons.

Dreamers and the LGBTQ+ community are our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors. This week, our nation’s highest court took two important steps to acknowledge that everyone deserves respect and equality.

Our country continues to face many other challenges when it comes to diversity and inclusion. At Cummins, we are committed to being an agent of positive change, whether it is in the workplace, in the community or across all levels of our government, and I encourage all of you to do the same.

Marya Rose
Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
Cummins Inc. 

Marya Rose - Cummins Inc.

Marya Rose

Marya Rose is the Chief Administrative Officer of Cummins Inc., reporting to the CEO. She is responsible for eight global functions including communications, marketing, government relations, compliance, facilities, security, corporate responsibility and Cummins’ global shared services organization; managing a budget of approximately $685M and more than 2000 employees. Rose sits on the senior leadership team at the Company.

Rose was named CAO in 2011, after serving as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for ten years.

Sharon Barner: "I am black. I am a mother."

Sharon Barner - Cummins Inc.

The following originally appeared in the June 19, 2020 edition of The Indianapolis Recorder. It was authored by Sharon Barner, Vice President and General Counsel, Cummins Inc. 

Sharon Barner - Indianapolis Recorder
"Speak up. Speak out. Take action. Vote." Click on the image to view the ad.

We see our sons and daughters in George Floyd, Dreasjon Reed, Breonna Taylor and so many others. On the other side of our sorrow, anger and despair, we dig deep to unleash our unrelenting commitment to fight injustice, tell our stories and build allies. 

I know it's not fair. I know we are tired. But we cannot give up. Our lives and our children's lives depend on us. In the spirit of our ancestors, we must be undaunted and undeterred in our efforts to undo systemic racism. 

Speak up. Speak out. Take action. Vote! 

#BlackWomenInCharge | #WeWillNotBreak

Sharon Barner
Vice President and General Counsel
Cummins Inc. 

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Op-Ed: "We must speak up to end racial inequality.

Sharorn Barner - Cummins Inc.

Sharon Barner

Sharon Barner is Vice President and General Counsel for Cummins Inc., where she is responsible for worldwide legal matters and oversees a team of lawyers, paralegals and other professionals. With more than 30 years of experience in the legal profession,

Sharon primarily specializes in intellectual property law. Prior to joining Cummins, she served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). During the two years she spent in that role, Sharon led 15 foreign missions to meet with government representatives, as well as leaders in academia and industry to raise awareness about the impact of intellectual property on business and innovation.

Kamloops branch supports meals for truckers

on highway truck

The Cummins Sales and Service Kamloops branch recently sponsored truck driver meals from a local food truck, Cookshack Cravings, as part of the Meals for Truckers initiative at Chevron Cardlock in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.Food truck to feed truckers

Meals for Truckers exists to ensure meals and facilities are available for truckers across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deemed essential service providers, truck drivers are working hard to deliver everything needed – food, medicine, medical supplies. At the same time, many restaurants have been closed, leaving drivers with limited access to food and restrooms. This program was established by a group of British Columbia business owners and the trucking industry. For the meals, the program also mobilizes the food truck industry, supporting an industry severely impacted by reduced revenues.

employees helping feed truckers"Kamloops employees jumped at the opportunity to show support for truckers who have been working hard to maintain critical supplies in our communities during the pandemic,” said Ehtisham Anwer, General Manager of the Kamloops branch. “The truckers were very thankful of our generosity and were excited to know about Cummins’ new state-of-the-art service centre in Kamloops."

Cookshack Cravings also thanked Cummins Kamloops for its sponsorship. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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