To Our AEO Family:
We will not shy away from acknowledging the pain, confusion and anger that so many of us are feeling following the death of George Floyd, and those that have died before him.
Racism is an ongoing, systemic threat to our communities. It has no place in this world. We recognize that racial inequality exists all around us and we stand with our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) associates and customers just as we have stood with all those that have faced hatred or persecution for what they believe or who they love.
We see you. We hear you. We support you. We are committed to REAL change with you.
We will continue to do our part to lead with purpose, inspire others to use positive actions rather than violence, break down racial inequalities and be part of the solution. We are not new to this fight. Since 2018, AEO has created an Inclusion and Diversity Alliance and partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to combat prejudice and bigotry through the No Place for Hate school-based program. With discrimination on the rise, we furthered our action in 2020 with substantial additional donations to organizations that promote understanding, kindness and love.
We have a responsibility to build a better world for our customers and our associates. We will not allow hate to defeat us in any of its forms. We will remain dedicated to supporting causes that uphold our values and make a lasting difference in the lives of those around us, like our work with The Pittsburgh Promise and Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring, among others.
We will also continue to support our associates, customers and communities through their battle with COVID-19, as many of our people continue to experience hardships due to a COVID-19 diagnosis, food insecurity or financial emergencies from the impact of the virus. In early May, AEO joined the pledge to be #OpenToAll to combat racial disparities and discrimination as a result of COVID-19. We will continue to step up and remain a leader in this space; keeping our people, our distribution centers and stores safe and secure while donating protective equipment and funds to those on the front lines and in need.
At AEO we celebrate the diversity of one, through the inclusion of many. We believe in a culture where everyone feels empowered and respected. As we continue to celebrate individuality, difference and equality, we invite associates to join our I&D Alliance and will remain committed to fostering conversations around race, equity and healing.
The time to do something is now. By taking action today, we can change tomorrow.
Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer