As we approach the upcoming national Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on January 18, a day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy, I’m energized by the steadfast commitment of Cerner and its associates to support and advance diversity, inclusion, equality and equity across the organization and in the communities we serve.
At Cerner, diversity and inclusion are foundational to our work across the globe – both as a company and as individuals seeking to build a talented and productive team. Three months ago, I had the pleasure of introducing Cerner’s first Diversity and Inclusion Report, which demonstrated our collective efforts and activities in making diversity and inclusion a priority in every area of our organization. While we understand this critical work takes time and we want to recognize our efforts to date, we also know there is much more to be done. We’re devoted to progress for the future of our company and communities where associates live and work.
While we have all been impacted in some way by the challenges, anxiety and stress of COVID-19, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on minority, underserved and geographically remote communities. Through the Cerner Social Determinants of Health collaborative workgroup, we've partnered with the non-profit Testing for America
, a group including the United Negro College Fund and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to offer COVID testing for students, faculty and staff at historically black colleges and universities. We’re also establishing deeper relationships with organizations like the Black Health Care Coalition to improve access to care.
The social and civil unrest we saw across the country last summer led to the creation of Cerner’s Let’s Talk signature program. These half-day sessions were attended by nearly 17,000 associates and provided a forum to discuss D&I issues in the workplace. We also continue our participation in CEO Action for Racial Equity, a fellowship that provides the opportunity for leaders of businesses across the country to advance racial equity through public policy.
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and day of service provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the history of our nation and focus on ways we can continue to support Dr. King’s vision going forward. As you may know, Dr. King recognized and valued the power of service. He famously said, "Everyone can be great because everybody can serve."
In 2019, we formally launched our Associate Business Resource Groups (ABRGs), which represent organic groups of individuals who have combined their efforts to serve a common goal specific to diversity and inclusion. Each year, ABRG members, along with other Cerner associates, logged tens of thousands of hours with more than 1,000 volunteer organizations around the globe. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re reminded of the importance of this ongoing work.
Cerner offices in the U.S. will be closed on Monday, January 18 to provide associates with an opportunity to volunteer in their communities. In addition to educational resources and our upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day Panel Presentation, Cerner’s Diversity and Inclusion office collaborated with the Cerner Charitable Foundation to identify service opportunities, including virtual volunteer options and supply drives, to help our associates give back.
I am proud of the many ways in which Cerner and its associates are supporting diversity, inclusion and equality and I thank all who have contributed to making our workplace and our communities better for everyone.