To the CJ reuse community,
We are encouraged by the Pittsburgh voices raised in support of addressing issues of police brutality and the attention given to the humanization of the individuals whose black lives were cut short. At our core, CJ’s mission is about finding value. We work intentionally to extend this perspective to the people we hire and the organizations with whom we partner.
One of CJ’s managers (who is also our only African American manager) said to me that what is important to him about CJ is it is a place that gives you a chance regardless of your past mistakes, race, or sexual orientation. A chance is one of the most important opportunities you can give to a person. It goes to the root of our humanity to desire to be valued by the content of our character, to demonstrate that one has learned and be given the opportunity to be judged by the best of our actions and not a single incident. All of this, first, requires time. It can’t be done with “no knocking”, it can’t happen in 8.5 minutes and it can’t be done if we reflexively decide not to hire a person solely because of her/his race or past history.
At CJ, we will continue to provide chances because we all need time to reveal our strengths and learn from our weaknesses. Clearly, one area that CJ needs to work on is the diversity of its management team. Giving “chances” has provided our organization the opportunity to learn from our past and work to reflect the world we want to see. The black lives who were taken no longer have that chance and that matters and that will continue to influence our operation and our work in the community.