Statement by Tony Howard, President & CEO of the Loudoun Chamber, regarding the death of Mr. George Floyd

Statement by Tony Howard, President & CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, regarding the death of Mr. George Floyd and the issues of racial injustice, inequality and oppression of the African-American community
On behalf of the 1,200 members of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, our Board of Directors and staff, I wish to first express my sincere and heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd, who lost his life in a clear criminal act carried out by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department, in clear violation of their sworn oath to “Protect and Serve” the residents of their city.
While Mr. Floyd has become a symbol for the centuries of oppression and terror wrought upon our fellow human beings of African descent here in America, he is first and foremost a child of God, a son, a brother and a friend to many. Mr. Floyd’s life had irreplaceable value and he deserves to receive the respect and human dignity he was so callously denied in his final moments. We do so by honoring his life and his memory.
I also wish to convey our organization’s firm commitment to address the issues of racial inequality, social injustice and the negative impacts these have on our own countrymen, in particular, our African American community.
Working through the Chamber’s Board of Directors and our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative, we commit to working with our local partners, in both the private and public sectors, to address the sickness that is racism and the pains of injustice it manifests in our community.
The Loudoun Chamber also commits to working with our national partners to address the same issues, and affect the same positive changes, across our nation.
As a charter member of the U.S. Chamber’s National Initiative on Inequality of Opportunity, and of the Association of Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Network, the Loudoun Chamber vows to bring national resources to address these issues locally, right here in Loudoun County.
We also commit to both join the national conversation on racism, inequality and injustice, but to work with our national partners and Federal representatives to bring about the positive changes America so desperately needs.
At all times, the Loudoun Chamber will address these issues and the sometime difficult conversations they engender with candor, courage and resolve. That begins by acknowledging that it is no longer enough for this Chamber to simply oppose inequality, injustice and discrimination.
We must meet our obligation, to our members and our community, to face these issues, and our own shortcomings, head on, in ways that make a meaningful difference in the community, Commonwealth and County we cherish. And we will meet that obligation, not because of my words, but because of the commitment of our Chamber leaders and members.
- Tony Howard, President & CEO, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce