Levi’s is best known for their denim but in the wake of Kyle Rittenhouse’s not-guilty verdict, the company wants to ‘encourage healing’ via a racial trauma specialist.
Elizabeth Morrison, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Levi Strauss & Co., sent an email to employees in the U.S. that reassured them their mental health is of the utmost importance.
“With the news that Kyle Rittenhouse was not convicted in the shooting of three individuals – two of whom lost their lives – during racial justice protests last year, this is a difficult day for many,” began the note, obtained by the.
“The pain and trauma of race, identity and belief-based tragedies is a reality than many of us are struggling with on an ongoing basis,” it continued. “It can feel physically, mentally and emotionally draining to continue to relive these moments, and I want you to know, it’s okay to not be okay.”
In an effort to “help promote safety, sharing and encourage healing,” Morrison and her team will bring in Dr. Jamila Codrington, a psychologist and racial trauma specialist to discuss the “mental and psychical impacts of back-to-back social and racial justice events and trauma coping mechanisms.”
Rittenhouse, 18, was cleared of all charges last Friday in the fatal shooting of two white men and wounding a third during Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020.
He said he acted in self-defence and feared for his life when he was chased down by an angry mob who were threatening to kill him.
Morrison, who is based in Los Angeles, goes on to encourage staff to prioritize self-care and use available resources to help “impact social justice, equality and drive positive change” such as “getting educated and informed on the issue of gun violence” and focus “supporting organizations focused on racial equity, justice and curbing gun violence.”