Indy Day of Solidarity – We Stand Together

Eli Lilly and Company  | June 13, 2020

As a company, Lilly had made significant progress to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company. But that was no longer enough.

As a major Indianapolis employer, widely recognized as a corporate leader in diversity and inclusion, we began using our platform to speak up, speak out and work toward solutions to end the racism and inequalities that African Americans and other minorities have experienced for far too long.

While change is needed everywhere, we started in Indianapolis, our community and home to Lilly for over 144 years. After all, there's much work to do here to make life better for everyone – and we wanted to do more.

On Saturday, June 13, 2020, people and organizations, including Lilly and its leaders, came together to acknowledge the trauma of racial injustice, understand its many forms and create a call to action for lasting change. The work started with that virtual event, titled the Indy Day of Solidarity – We Stand Together. You can watch the full program playback on our YouTube channel.

That event included these speakers:

  • Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis mayor

  • Maggie Lewis, Indianapolis City-County Council member and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis

  • Darryl Lockett, Kennedy King Memorial Initiative executive director

  • Angela Cain, longtime news anchor and reporter

  • Dave Ricks, Lilly chairman and CEO

We partnered with Indianapolis’ oldest African American newspaper, largest minority-owned television station and largest urban radio stations. The Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, WISH-TV and Radio One's HOT 96.3 FM, WLTC 106.7 FM , and The Light 92.7 FM/1310 AM simulcast the event on television and radio, and online and via social media for people outside Indianapolis.

We hope Indy Day of Solidarity – We Stand Together inspired people to volunteer and donate to groups working in our local communities, both in Indianapolis and across the U.S. On that day, and every day, we encourage people to:

  • Take time to read, think and reflect on the kind of community you want – and what you can learn or change to help us all get there.

  • Reach out to someone different from you. Ask questions about each other’s journey through life: How are you similar, and how have your experiences been different?

To underscore our commitment to positive action, we also announced a pledge by Lilly and the Lilly Foundation of $25 million and 25,000 employee volunteer hours over five years. We’ll direct the funding and volunteerism toward combatting racial injustice and inequity, and we plan to join forces with other businesses and community groups to achieve our goals.

While there’s nothing easy about the road ahead, we can no longer accept systemic bias in any of its forms. The time for platitudes is behind us – the time for urgent action is now.