Take a Stand Against Hatred
Gerri Mason Hall
Gerri Mason Hall
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
SVP & Chief Human Resources Officer,
Sodexo North America

I don’t know if we will ever be able to make sense of the tragic events that took place in Orlando this weekend. Like most people, I am struggling with frustration, grief, anger and the senselessness of it all. While I can rationalize this was the act of one very disturbed and delusional individual and that the world is filled with good and decent people, I am still reminded that hate remains pervasive.  During this time of unspeakable sadness, during a month that we celebrate and commemorate the LGBT Community, I want to reinforce the importance of coming together to educate, inform and take a stand against hatred. In our communities, in our workplaces, in our families and in our places of faith I encourage you to use your voice to promote understanding and acceptance. Love can conquer hate, but it is up to us to sow the seeds of goodness, compassion, acceptance and grace.   


Gerri Mason Hall is Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer for Sodexo North America. She is also the Executive Sponsor of Sodexo LGBT Employee Business Resource Group, PRIDE. Sodexo’s 133,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for 9,000 client partners and improve Quality of Life for 15 million consumers every day

15 comments on “Take a Stand Against Hatred

  • I strongly condemn the a deadly attack on innocent lives chosen at random or for their personal gain or belief .we are all stand shoulder to shoulder to build one family of humanity . We have to come together to educate the people , community to stand hatred.
    My heartfelt condolence , respect , and my sympathy to those families that lost their loved ones .

  • Ken McWatt says:

    Gerri, thank you for your words of comfort and action “coming together to educate, inform and take a stand against hatred.”

  • Thank you so much Ms. Hall. As a member of the LGBT community, Sunday morning I was engulfed with so many emotions. As I sat with my husband last night, I spoke of the numbness I currently feel. I am honored by the friends and family members who have reached out to my husband and I who have expressed their sympathy, grief, fear, anger and, most importantly, their love for us in the last two days. One friend spoke to me last night, saying “I couldn’t even imagine being attacked for the person I am at the core of my being. Just for existing.” For someone who teaches our employees it is OK to disagree, but it is not OK to disrespect, I feel violated. Now is the time we have to rise together in love, unity, inclusivity and strength. I am honored to work for a company that has no quam for publicly expressing their belief of the value of all human kind.

  • As information continues to emerge from this tragic situation, it becomes clearer that it is this lack of understanding and acceptance that is at the center of this event and key to preventing future occuerences. It is unfortunate, that the message that is being echoed and shouted by those with the greatest voice and the greatest potential impact is that of fear and hatred. It seems the lesson being taught is that of retaliation and retribution. There is no growth, no strength,…no unity in this perspective.

    Innocent lives were lost. Families destroyed. The world forever changed. The reason will never fully be understood. The path to rebuilding, however, needs to be grounded in a positive message and traveled with forward thinking, optimistic outlook. I am filled with metaphors and platitudes to further express this sentiment, but each seems to simple or naive to fully illustrate this complex lesson.

    I am gay, I am sad, I am hurt, but I will not/cannot hate. My empathy and compassiion is with all those affect by the events on that early Sunday morning, even the shooters family, his son. How is this still the world we live? We are born good and taught to hate and fear.

  • Elisa Van Brunt says:

    Proud to work for an organization whose leadership has a clear understanding that diversity and inclusion are not just words but are the key building blocks for our corporate framework. As a change agent, it is my responsibility to do my part to facilitate understanding of the many dimensions of our society and the value that each of us brings. Taking A Stand Against Hatred is something we ALL can do!

  • Stephanie Coleman says:

    This horrific event took place within walking distance of my home. Although I am not personally, I do have friends and colleagues who are part of the LGBT community, and have been to Pulse nightclub on many occasions. I can’t believe anyone would think it is acceptable to take another human being’s life just because they have a different belief system, whether it be based on religion, politics, sexual orientation or any other multitude of ideologies. America was created on the premise of different beliefs and that has not changed. That is what make our country strong, diverse and unique. We all need to respect one another, love one another and stand united against hate.

  • Keep the faith, our democracy will survive and become stronger. I spent 27 years fighting for our country and our way of life. Singular acts of hatred will not destroy our Constitutional Rights to Life and Liberty.

    Some of our laws must change a bit in order to protect all of our citizens against the threats to personal freedom.

  • Krystle Lee says:

    Hate begets hate, but love conquers all. I hope that all of humanity will begin to view differences as the diverse paint that makes this masterpiece called Life… Absolutely Fantabulous. <3

  • Lance Thomson says:

    This was such a senseless act. As a straight man with many gay friends and family members, I can only imagine the pain this community feels. I feel the pain. As a resident of Orlando, it upsets me that we have to live with such intolerance. I’ve spent hours on the phone with friends who were absolutely devastated by the events and spoke of living in a climate of fear. Such a sad commentary about the current atmosphere here in our country and in many places around the world. If the energy of hate and fear could be channeled into love and acceptance, imagine how far we could go. Until then all we can do is hope and remember love is love.
    “Imagine all the people, living life in peace” John Lenon

  • Jerry Brownlee says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. As a member of the LGBT community I am soooooooo PROUD to work for a GLOBAL company that not only promotes diversity, but actively encourages love and acceptance of all. Sodexo is not my company, it is my family.

  • Alfred Fichman says:

    One of the assets of our country lies in its diversity. We are the world’s melting pot. It is not enough, however, to be diverse. Our true strength lies in our understanding and appreciation of how every religion, belief, creed and culture contributes it’s own stitches to the patchwork that is America.
    To those who commit such horrific acts in the hopes we cringe in terror, you are blind to the fact that the atrocities you commit only make us strong, unified, and committed to our values, our ideals, and to each other.
    Hate and violence will never win.

  • Charles Olson says:

    “take a stand against hatred. In our communities, in our workplaces, in our families and in our places of faith”

    Amen. If you recognize the seeds of intolerance around you, take a stand. Don’t remain silent. We must all find the courage to confront the sources of hatred and intolerance that beget this kind of violence and cruelty. We can no longer pretend that there is not a problem.

  • Xuechen ZHANG says:

    Thank you Gerri for your great words!
    As a person who is working on Diversity and Inclusion, I am proud that Sodexo is making a clear statement where we stand!

    I am in Paris, at last Sunday there was a big PRIDE for GLBT community. Fear and hatred will never make us strong, but supporting each other will do!


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