In the wake of Charlottesville, and the deep concern about our country that continues, we want to restate the core values of our company and affirm that this is a place where respect, diversity, teamwork and equity are paramount.
Hager Sharp was founded to help nonprofits who were helping the community thrive with communications support. We’ve never worked for clients who, in our opinion, do not promote the wellbeing of our community and our nation. No tobacco, guns, no dictators and most definitely no hate groups. Our mission is to help people live healthier, safer, smarter lives. We’ve enjoyed supporting civil justice groups and women’s organizations; government health, education and safety offices; foundations and nonprofits. As our founder, Susan Hager, would say, you can do well by doing good. We’d like to add, that is really the only way you can truly do well…we are all in this together.
Internally, we promote teamwork, respect and diversity. We do that in many ways, including through our Employee Owner’s Council, our Culture Committee, and Hager Hours.
- We are an employee-owned company, and we’re grateful to those who serve on the Employee Owners’ Council (EOC) to make sure that all our voices have a chance to be heard on company issues. Team members at each professional level, from Account Coordinator to Vice President, elect a representative to the Council, which provides feedback and advice to the firm’s leaders and helps us address any concerns, and act on great ideas for improvement.
- Hager Hours were established in honor of our founder, to allow team members to take time off during business hours for community service. Beyond that, most of us are already actively engaged and spend lots of time outside office hours in volunteer activities, such as Generation Hope, Girl Scouts, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Hispanic PR Association, Goodwill, the National Press Club (which has a robust Press Freedom committee), and so many other organizations that support our values and bring people together.
- The Culture Committee plans fun and team building activities, and right now we are looking at ways we can use our energy to promote social justice. Many of us are searching for what else we can do to keep our country from falling backwards.
Here are some additional thoughts on what we can all do that were shared with me by The Communications Network, an organization of communications folks from foundations and nonprofits:
- Find or plan a solidarity vigil or event, or join a group near you. Gathering in person matters. Good resources to help include Indivisible.
- Sign petitions to remove confederate symbols across the country and spur government action, like this one at Color of Change.
- Enroll and encourage others to take a race equity training. Here’s one offered by RaceForward. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has excellent resources here as does The Bridge at The Aspen Institute.
- Learn more about hate groups in America by visiting the Southern Poverty Law Center.
As Maya Angelou said, “The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God – if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody. That’s what I think.”
And John F. Kennedy: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
Small steps. Big purpose.
Executive Vice President