The Importance of Inclusion

I hope you are all staying safe and doing well through these unprecedented times. We are thankful now more than ever for our strong Kaspien community who has banded together during the tough times that have occurred throughout 2020. The pandemic has left many people and businesses throughout the nation in a very challenging place, and on top of these troubled times, we’ve seen how inequalities across the nation have impacted people everywhere. I wanted to share a recent email that was sent to all Kaspien employees, as I believe it is important to share our view of the world and how we can navigate through this, together as one.   

As the CEO of Kaspien and Trans World Entertainment, I strive hard every day to create an environment that is inclusive for all. Inclusion is not just my duty, it is embedded deep into my personal values, especially as a person of color. But inclusion is a lot more than what it seems on paper. Inclusion is when every employee at Kaspien – whatever religion you belong to or don’t belong to, whatever color you are, whatever background you come from, whether you’re male, female or other, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, however young or old you are, or any other classification –– will get the same opportunities as everyone else. From opportunities to share your ideas to opportunities in your career and everything in between, Kaspien is a culture that prides itself on its “Leadership Principles” and nothing else. There are no divides here. We don’t divide between manager and individual contributor; we don’t divide among departments; we don’t divide among religion, caste, creed, dress code, age, gender or anything else that identifies who you are. We will always hold hands and move forward as one Kaspien team.  

Yes, we debate and will continue to debate every day, because at the heart of debate is a solution to a problem and our job as leaders is to solve problems; solve problems for our customers to become their ultimate online growth partner and empower them to help build massive businesses online. We succeed when they succeed. This debate should never be confused for a divide. You will never be judged at Kaspien on a question you ask or an email you send or whether you question even my actions. Our objective every day is to get to the truth of the issue at hand and we do it in an inclusive manner with no divides.  

Lately, I’m saddened and angry at the events that I’ve seen unfold in our country unfairly targeting African Americans and other people of color in our communities. This behavior and this injustice are not something we can tolerate. There is no place for racism in this modern world. At the same time, I also condemn the reaction that many have had in the form of violence, looting, and rioting. Violence is never the answer to a problem.  

At a time when the world is trying to fight one of its biggest health crises; at a time when we should be celebrating innovations in our world like the SpaceX and NASA launch of astronauts to space, our country continues to battle medieval problems of racism and violence.  This is not 21st century thinking, like we have here at Kaspien. 

To all my fellow co-workers: I want to assure you that you have my commitment to strive even harder to build our inclusive future. If the events of the recent past have hurt you, I completely understand. However, if you feel vulnerable at our workplace, I want you to know that you shouldn’t. Kaspien is a safe place for all. The executive team is committed towards this. 

Today, let’s all take a moment today to mourn the death of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives as victims of racism, inequality, xenophobia and other acts of violence. Let’s also wish our officers the very best as they curb the current violent situation here in Washington and in other cities in The United States.  

Looking forward to another week of holding hands and inclusively achieving our mission together.  

Thanks,  

Kunal