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Earlier today, at the request of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Reverend Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch of the NAACP, business leaders from Detroit came together in a show of solidarity. They spoke out against racism and injustice, committing to collectively champion equality, diversity and inclusion across their companies and communities.

A replay of the press conference can be found on the City of Detroit’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CityofDetroit/videos/177029263748555/.

The demonstration of unity included CEOs of nine Detroit corporations, including Chris Ilitch, President and CEO, Ilitch Holdings. Ilitch’s complete remarks are below.

Today we stand together to champion equality, justice and respect for the African American community. I am proud to stand with those who support diversity and inclusion and condemn hatred, racism, prejudice and violence.

I want to join in thanking Mayor Duggan and Reverend Anthony for bringing us together.

No doubt, these have been difficult days. We all mourn the tragic and all-too-common loss of African American lives. We are saddened. We are troubled. We are angry.

But anger is not enough. We have a moral obligation to meet intolerance and injustice with action and resolve. We need to peacefully and productively channel our grief and shared sense of decency into lasting and positive change.

The strength of this city lies in the spirit of this city and in the grace and goodwill of its people.

It lies in our ability to rally. To rise. And to demand better.

Like all of you, I love this city. It’s why my parents moved our headquarters here. And it’s why we’ve grown our businesses here.   

We are proud and privileged to call Detroit home. But with that comes responsibility.

A responsibility to help lead and uplift the community in times like this. And that’s what today is all about. Collectively acknowledging the systemic issues facing the African American community. And collectively demanding, and helping to deliver, meaningful solutions.  

It’s not enough to simply stand here and talk. Now is the time for us to act.

To the African American community let me say: We see and hear you. We respect you. We stand with you.

Thank you.