Dear Staff, Partners, Investors, and 3rd Party Vendors:
At Christian Tyler Properties, we have always taken pride in having as one of our core values the fact that we invest into the communities where we have real estate projects and operations. But if we are to truly be a group that invests back into these communities where we are conducting business, then we must also outwardly acknowledge when things aren’t as we’d like them to be. This has never been more clear to me than in this moment and, like so many of you, I am beyond disappointed at the loss of life and what appears to be the persistent unequal treatment of the black and minority communities by a relatively small handful of law enforcement personnel across our great nation. Christian Tyler Properties is late to engaging directly with you all on this — we have stood too quietly in the face of clear injustice. But as a Christian based business enterprise, we must be willing to take a stand and do our part in ensuring that there will be “unity in the community”.
That ends today. I want to be clear about where we stand and our next steps.
I personally care deeply about this issue and I’m prepared to do everything in my power to drive positive change. Christian Tyler Properties stands for inclusion, love, acceptance, and support. If we do not love our neighbors, all of our neighbors, how do we love anyone? In my discussions with many of you from all over our world, especially those of you with different faiths and beliefs, one thing is quite clear. We all believe that the God we worship has created firm rules and laws that we must follow. In the Christian faith, it comes in part from the Ten Commandments in the Holy Bible. In other faiths, it comes from other sources, but the tenet remains the same. One of those commandments is for us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It is not a suggestion from God. It is a mandate. And it is a mandate that we all need to start honoring. IF we love our God as we all say we do, then we cannot selectively pick and choose which rules, laws, or commandments to follow.
Coming out of the last few weeks, it is clear our black communities are hurting deeply. Investors, partners, and 3rd party vendors of our own Christian Tyler Properties community are hurting deeply. We need to stand together, help each other, love one another and, most importantly, take action in peaceful, law abiding ways to begin to enact change. Peaceful protest will always be honored by us as it is a right of every American under our 1st Amendment of the Constitution. However, we will never condone any form of violence, be it against others or others’ property, in the name of protest.
This week, we made a pledge to Grace Family Church to support the important work they are doing for unity in the community and for racial justice; which as I firmly believe starts with God’s commandment of all of His followers to love their neighbor as they love themselves and their own family members.
As an ongoing commitment, we are working to create an anti-racism plan in our Code of Business Ethics to ensure that our organization can be the best version of itself, from the inside out. We may never be perfect, but we are going to do better every day. We commit to sharing more about our efforts as they take shape. Please know that we will move quickly and that our actions will be sustained.
But we know this is not enough. We will continue to develop meaningful ways to use our voice, platform and resources to fight any type of social injustice. We are outraged and heartbroken at the events occurring across our country. In the fight for an anti-racist world, we have a responsibility to combat hate, discrimination and unfair treatment of our fellow human beings.
In a note that I sent to the CTP Team this morning, I called out the following:
At Christian Tyler Properties, we have the power and responsibility to create a culture where hate and discrimination have no place. The feeling I want all of you to have when you come to work, and for all of our investors and partners and 3rd party vendors to have every time they interact with us, is inclusion. It’s belonging, acceptance, and safety. This week, what’s become clear to me is we must ensure this is an organization who at it’s very core is one built with God’s love on full display each and every day; and from that all will know, amongst other things, that we are an anti-racist organization. We should not be satisfied with ourselves unless we are intentionally and proactively showing God’s love and hence changing our ways of thinking on a daily basis. We should not be satisfied with ourselves unless we are consistently tearing down the prejudices that facilitate such acts of hatred. And we should not be satisfied with ourselves until we are together dismantling the systemic structures that allow inequality to remain a fixture in our society. Please remember that we are ALL servants of the same God.
In the words of the novelist and playwright, James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” We have work to do.
I will end by letting you know that Christian Tyler Properties is here for you, all of our Staff, Partners, Investors, and 3rd Party Vendors. But today, we are here particularly for those groups that feel disenfranchised, isolated, and/or neglected. Right now, that is the black community and we acknowledge our responsibility to be part of the solution. We are committed to doing our part. And we are committed to continued action.
You have my personal commitment to work to make an even bigger difference.
Kirk D. Eicholtz
CEO and President of Christian Tyler Properties, LLC