SHRM CEO’s Alignment With This Administration Lacks Ethical Leadership

I want to share an headline with my HR peeps, along with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and its CEO, Johnny C. Taylor:

Aid group Raices rejects $250,000 from Salesforce over border agency contract

In brief: Raices, a Texas-based group that provides legal services to immigrant and refugee families, has rejected a $250K donation from Salesforce because it has contracts with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). This agency is one of several involved in the racist and violent family separation apparatus happening at the U.S. border.

This is how the Raices’ Executive Director spoke about the decision to reject the offer:

“Pledging us a small portion of the money you make from CPB [sic] contracts will not distract us from your continuing support of this agency. We will not be a beneficiary of your effort to buy your way out of ethical responsibility.” ~ Jonathan Ryan

In my opinion, this is ethical leadership. This is about making the hard but correct decision.

Which brings me back to SHRM and its CEO. Recently, I vented about SHRM meeting with the U.S. President.



Needless to say, I wasn’t happy.

In my opinion, I believe that the organization’s participation sends a toxic message to its members, and other HR pros, and it’s this: Ethical leadership isn’t a priority.

This white supremacist Republican administration doesn’t care about SHRM, Johnny C. Taylor, or the thousands of HR pros out there, including myself. If SHRM’s CEO continues to align himself with this administration, then it’s safe to say that he doesn’t care about us, either.

And now I’ve made a choice: I’m going to be loud about my disapproval of this organization’s actions. I want the record to be clear on how I feel about this particular move.

You’ve got to learn to leave the table when love’s no longer being served~ Nina Simone

For me, this is the hard but correct decision. I know many who are involved in SHRM. They volunteer, lead chapters, and work to be the best HR professionals they can be. But SHRM (on the national level at least) doesn’t seem to have their best interests at heart.

I may lose friends over this. I’m okay with that.

If I could give any advice to other Human Resources professionals out there, it’s this: know the values you’re willing to hold fast to. So when the time comes (and it always comes) you’re able and willing to make the hard but correct decision.

Good luck.


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