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One decent person out of hundreds: Trent Mell of First Cobalt (FCC.to)

Thank you, Trent Mell of First Cobalt, for publishing this in Northern Miner today:

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Op-Ed: It’s time for the mining industry to speak out on George Floyd
BY: TRENT MELL, SPECIAL TO THE NORTHERN MINER JUNE 11, 2020
George
Floyd has galvanized the world in a manner that countless other
race-related murders have not. It is a moment to be seized and First
Cobalt has lent its voice to change on Twitter:
FCC: https://twitter.com/FirstCobalt/status/1269470197125124098
Trent: https://twitter.com/TrentMell/status/1269473735150624768
It
is important for all of us to participate in the global dialogue that
was provoked by the death of George Floyd. Racism is not only a problem
in America and we all have a role to play if we want to strive for a
better future. In the U.S., Goldman Sachs, Peloton, BlackRock, Nike and
Microsoft are some of the companies that have taken a stand. In Canada,
Manulife, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Shopify and Lululemon have issued
statements or made financial pledges. I am disappointed that we have not
seen any public statements from our larger Canadian mining companies.
Chief
Mark Saunders, Toronto’s first black Chief of Police, observed that we
are living through a historic period that will change the course of
history. He points out that systemic racism and violence at the hands of
members of law enforcement is an issue in Canada: “This is not an
American phenomenon. It is real, it is powerful and we need to address
it.” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bou4-1H49wM )
Speaking
out is a first step. We then need to back up those statements with
concrete actions to break down systemic barriers. First Cobalt does have
some cultural diversity on its board and among the employee base but
that doesn’t mean we can’t do more. We currently have limited financial
resources to fund societal change but we have a voice and we can take
action by promoting diversity in our workplace and ensuring that we have
career advancement opportunities for under represented communities. By
creating a diverse workforce, we create a catalyst for change from
within as well as mentors and role models for young people.
The
mining industry has made some strides on the issue of diversity. The
focus at the corporate level has been on advancement of women through
the executive ranks and around the boardroom table. At the operational
level, the emphasis is often on creating meaningful opportunities for
indigenous communities where we operate. In order to increase cultural
diversity within our ranks, Canadian demographics imply that a concerted
effort must be made at the corporate office level. This is a frontier
that requires more attention.
My
wife, a Korean immigrant, faced her own challenges with racism growing
up in Canada but never to the point of being afraid of the police. The
video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of law enforcement is so
disturbing and yet the bigger tragedy is the fact that we have seen this
too many times before. This time, people rose up and said enough is
enough, black lives matter.
Trent Mell is president and CEO of First Cobalt Corp. (TSXV: FCC; US-OTC: FTSSF).

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