Fortune 500 CEO’s emotional letter about diversity and inclusion goes viral

Jide Zeitlin, the CEO of Tapestry, the parent company of Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman, discusses his decision to share a message about inclusive corporate culture.
6:59 | 06/03/20

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Transcript for Fortune 500 CEO’s emotional letter about diversity and inclusion goes viral
Now the striking call for change one of America's top CEOs. G days island is one of the few black executives running a fortune 500 company. Always speak with him live in a moment after TJ Holmes takes a closer look at the deeply personal message silence chair of this company and the country seeking to. Hey good morning to you again George yes we wanted to talk to the black CEO. A fortune 500 company that's 500 companies. We had four options there are only for it's that type of disparity and it equity that touches so many parts of society assists dome. That is also the same system that has people marching in the streets right now and CEO speaking to his employees about. And emotional message from G days I Glenn. The CEO and chairman of tapestry the company behind fashion brands coach Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. Addressing the protests and vandalizing other new York city stores in a letter to thousands of employees he writes I sat down several times to write this letter. But stopped each time my eyes willing though with tears this is personal. Going on to say we can replace our windows in handbags but we cannot bring back George Floyd a model Marbury Rihanna Taylor Eric garner. Tree Von Martan. Emmett Till and too many others. Each of these black lives matter. Zyban is a minority in society but downright rarity in business one of only four black fortune 500 CEO is in his letters idling that draws on his experience as a young black man traveling to South Africa during apart tied. What began as a political gathering quickly changed when the church was surrounded. By armored vehicles he writes the orders over bull horns turned into tear gas and eventually. Rubber bullets the lessons learned that summer have remained with me for a lifetime. Also invoking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. what ever affects one directly affects all indirectly. Adding almost sixty years have passed yet America is still struggling to salt a 400 year old problem. We cannot leave that task. Crowd CEOs the other companies are CIA. Lows and Merck that also have Alexio they've also all spoken out Georgian making it clear that there's no difference really in this system of racism that has an effect on board rooms. Or the street to Brooke. Okay thank you teach us Brigitte is Ireland now this is Ellen thank you for joining us this morning on a pick up on that. My new quota from Martin Luther King we cannot leave this task to others. So what's the most important thing that you and your fellow corporate leaders can do right now. Most important thing in my view interest on good morning George. The most important thing that we can do is to be human. Right I'm a human being. 25000 colleagues around the world are human being. And we've come through an extraordinary. Year. Two and a half months locked into our homes now watching it seems so every day. Another man or woman getting shot getting choked on the streets or America on our streets. And so this is there opportunity for us to be vulnerable. To connect with our employees. To connect more broadly but society. I had a powerful local. Whenever you gonna be vulnerable. That's a good question I have is talking of phentermine the other day an African American also also a top executive and entrepreneur he's assuming they really stuck with me said. Going forward it's not enough not to be racist no one thinks. They're racist we have to be anti racist. Just wondering what that means to you and how do we create a culture that is anti racist. Part of it is by having honest conversations. Such as this conversation. Such is the conversations that we have across tapestry and that we're gonna have more of this we go for. I'm but it's early also went in law and our entire Reese's and more sit. I'm you should see color you should see differences should he lost the types a differences. And then you should celebrate those because you should realize that at the end of the day. Were stronger because of our diversity. Because people with different perspectives different incited. Much better at solving problems are much better together. And it everybody has stacked so many anti racism isn't the lack of collar acted anything it's the extension ration of color. But then the initiation that the appreciation of the differences. Com each of us come to a conversation with. I'm 28 to a two to try to solve problems. Some of your companies to stores were damaged by looters and you know people are frightened. By that kind of violence or frightened by some of the things we've seen in the streets and and and how do you address that fear. And also address the underlying issues that are driving people to the streets. I'm the first acknowledge that fear I understand that fear. I'm had the same time I also put it into perspective. And I focus on the hearts. You what is it was the underlying. Issue caused people to step out into the streets to protest eight steps. And and and my senses. A union you can you can do that. Then you can begin realizing. Yeah ask you is that pulled the TJ hate crime. We can fix our broken windows eight we were these are handbags and back the losses that we suffered air. Are minimal relative to be frankly that our law society is is its current. And from the loss of life that so many families are suffering Brock. And and asked what she until we get at the underlying systemic issues we're gonna be cheating miss Lou. Over and over again and yet much as when I read when I regret you king's letter from Birmingham jail have been written yes her well that was years. That was sixty years ago he reference to 400. Year old problem. How do we have yes. Sari and on this Giarratano we have hope in the face of the 400 year old problem. You you gotta have hope and need for more from where I sit you know I believed so fervently in the ideal that is America. You and that ideals that that its it's about equal opportunity and the social mobility becomes an ideal. So when I when I see the young black man in the street protests in. I sit there and I say that's me and in so many ways Georgette are very cute that that's you is he's crying out for opportunity. There's an opportunity to better themselves and in so doing to make America stronger. And I really believe that he's able to achieve the American dream in makes all of us are. And I'm really glad you share that message this morning mr. zone thanks for your time this morning. Thank you very much church.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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