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IBM CEO Krishna: ‘We Are Committed To Fighting Discrimination In All Forms’

Big Blue’s new CEO shared a video statement he made Sunday night addressing the nation’s turmoil. An internal Slack channel discussion today will tackle diversity and racism

As social unrest ravaged the nation in recent nights, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna pledged Big Blue’s commitment to combating racism and discrimination across the country, and supporting African-American employees within the company’s ranks.

“I want you to know: IBM will not condone racism of any kind, and we are committed to fighting discrimination in all its forms and wherever it exists,” Krishna said in a video he taped on his cell phone.

Krishna noted the “deeply painful and heartbreaking events” that triggered protests in dozens of U.S. cities, specifically the deaths of three African-Americans: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.

[Related: IBM Employees Hit With Widespread Layoffs: Reports]

“Like you, I'm pained and appalled by their deaths. These events are tragic. They have shaken us to our core...and although they happened in the US, they have caught the world's attention,” said Krishna, an immigrant from India.

“They bring to light the inequality, bias, prejudice and racism that people have dealt with for far too long and continue to deal with on a daily basis.”

Krishna said racism is tearing American communities apart, and “one lesson we should all learn is that silent carriers help spread racism.” IBM’s CEO also recognized how difficult the ongoing turmoil—sparked by incidents of police brutality—has been in particular for IBM’s black employees.

To foster a continuing dialogue, IBM will hold a company-wide discussion on racism and diversity Monday night on an internal Slack channel.

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