Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX COO
SpaceX launched people into orbit on May 30 for the primary time, sending NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
The firm’s milestone coincided with nationwide protests in opposition to racism and police brutality that erupted after video circulated displaying white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for practically 9 minutes. Floyd died and Chauvin has been charged with homicide.
On Wednesday, SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell congratulated staff on the launch in an inside e-mail, whereas additionally acknowledging the tragedy of racism and police brutality.
“In speaking of trying to attain a better future, we must acknowledge the current reality. The death of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more highlight the difficulties that communities of color face,” she wrote.
“I want to ensure that SpaceX is a place where these difficulties are recognized and certainly a place where bias and discrimination are not tolerated. I will be meeting with our African American employees this week so that we can have more in-depth conversations about their experiences at work and discuss what we can do to improve.”
Her inside memo follows a quick Monday be aware from SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk, which said: “Your incredible work is now literally part of history! Words cannot express how proud I am of what you have achieved.”
On Twitter, the place the SpaceX and Tesla CEO has round 35 million followers, Musk additionally briefly commented on the Floyd killing, calling for the law enforcement officials who stood by and watched to be arrested.
“Definitely not right that the other officers were charged with nothing. What message does this send in general to officers who stand by while another does wrong? #JusticeForGeorge.” (Those officers, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane, have been charged with aiding and abetting murder late on Wednesday.)
Protestors kneel in entrance of the police throughout an illustration over the demise of George Floyd within the Hollywood space of Los Angeles on June 2, 2020.
Kyle Grillot | AFP | Getty Images
But by the top of June 1, Musk introduced he was taking a break from Twitter.
By distinction, SpaceX COO and President Gwynne Shotwell mentioned nothing on Twitter, since she has no account there, based on a SpaceX spokesperson. She reserved her ideas about police brutality and racism within the US for the interior be aware.
Here’s your entire e-mail, obtained and transcribed by CNBC:
From: Gwynne Shotwell
Date: Jun. 3, 2020 [Ed: time stamp redacted]
Subj. Demo 2 and Changing the World
On Sunday, SpaceX efficiently delivered its first people, NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the worldwide Space Station. I hope every of you takes nice delight on this extraordinary accomplishment. Until now, solely three nations – Russia, the United States and China – have achieved the feat. Your dedication to the protected passage of ‘The Dads’ has required perseverance, sacrifice and a pursuit of a greater, extra thrilling future. I really imagine there isn’t any different group of individuals that might have made this occur – thanks and congratulations on the mission success to this point.
In talking of attempting to realize a greater future, we should acknowledge the present actuality. The demise of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many extra spotlight the difficulties that communities of shade face. These occasions are troubling. If you might be struggling personally or want to discuss to somebody, please attain out to your HR Rep, or go to our advantages web page to study assets supplied by Lyra Health and different companies. It is okay (and inspired) to take a second, or the time you want, to cope with this.
I need to be sure that SpaceX is a spot the place these difficulties are acknowledged and positively a spot the place bias and discrimination aren’t tolerated. I can be assembly with our African American staff this week in order that we will have extra in-depth conversations about their experiences at work and talk about what we will do to enhance. I need to meet with others that need to assist on this regard. Please ship requests to Brian Weir [Ed: Executive Assistant to the COO], Brian Bjelde [Ed: VP of Human Resources], or our Manager of Diversity and Inclusion Jamin Gallman. We will acquire good concepts, achievements and misses on this web page. [Ed: Link redacted] It can even spotlight organizations and alternatives to assist this broader neighborhood.
Thank you for all of your contributions and private sacrifices that make SpaceX an incredible success. Congrats on the historic launch and docking of the nonetheless ongoing DM-2 mission. And thanks prematurely on your continued assist in making SpaceX a spot the place all individuals can do wonderful work, buoyed by the assist and teamwork of their fellow staff.
Let’s preserve doing our greatest work and speed up our purpose of creating humanity multi-planetary.
p.s. A number of of you’ve requested in regards to the button I used to be carrying throughout launch. It’s primarily based on a quote by Harriet Tubman that claims “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Correction: This story has been up to date to replicate that Gwynne Shotwell doesn’t have a Twitter account.