Today, Vegas Chamber chairman Tom Burns and CEO Mary Beth Sewald issued the following statement regarding the Black Lives Matter protests and calls for the end of racial injustice:

“The Vegas Chamber stands against hatred and bigotry of any kind. There is no room for words or actions of hate or divisiveness in our country and in our community.

“Out of the pain of George Floyd’s brutal murder, we have an opportunity to truly change and eradicate racist practices and beliefs. It is inspiring to see so many individuals from all backgrounds come together in peaceful protests to press for this accountability and change.

“But to truly defeat institutional racism, it will take all of us coming together and doing the honest and difficult work that is necessary to achieve transformation. As a community leader and organization that embraces diversity, the Vegas Chamber is committed to moving this conversation forward in Southern Nevada. And we encourage everyone to support our minority-owned small businesses as a meaningful way of expanding economic opportunity and equality.

“Our community – including businesses, law enforcement, education, the criminal justice system, non-profits, labor unions, and elected leaders – needs to continue to work together to address issues of inequality and injustice so that everyone in Southern Nevada feels valued, free of fear, and has the opportunity to pursue their dreams.

“Las Vegas is enriched by its cultural diversity from its residents and visitors alike. Let each of us pledge to open our hearts and minds to the experiences and perspectives of all; to no longer tolerate racist actions and words; and to examine our hearts and minds to root out individual prejudices that may exist deep within our souls.”