Press Release

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Launches Social Justice Fellowship to Advance Racial Equity

Largest business coalition aimed at advancing racial equity through public policy

NEW YORK (OCTOBER 5, 2020) — Today, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action), the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, is announcing the launch of CEO Action for Racial Equity, a fellowship that provides the opportunity for CEO Action signatories to advance racial equity through public policy.

A recent survey noted that 71% of Americans place more trust in companies to respond to racial injustice than in the government (36%). Leveraging CEO Action's platform, the coalition is activating its 1,300+ signatory base to collaborate and advance social justice through public policy together.

Denny's has committed to be part of CEO Action's continued efforts to promote racial equality. They join more than 100 CEO Action signatory organizations, will work together to identify, develop and promote scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism, social injustice and improve societal well-being. Fellows will focus their efforts on four key areas of societal well-being: education, healthcare, public safety and economic empowerment. Additional fellows will join as the program gets underway.

“Systemic racism and prejudice have driven harmful inequities in our world for generations, shaping everything from access to education, to the quality of healthcare, to treatment by the justice system,” said Roger Crandall, Chairman, President and CEO, MassMutual, and CEO Action for Racial Equity Governing Committee member. “We can — and must — do better, and CEO Action for Racial Equity is one way the business community is taking action to unify our collective voices. We look forward to seeing the contributions of these talented fellows in our effort to build a more just and equitable world.”

To help lead the day-to-day leadership, strategy and operations, PwC and MassMutual have contributed leaders: Roy Weathers, PwC Vice Chair, Societal Engagement and Policy Solutions will serve as the Chief Executive Officer; Pia Flanagan, chief of staff to the CEO at MassMutual, will serve as the Chief Operating Officer; and Roz Brooks, PwC US' Policy Leader will serve as the Policy Lead in addition to her role at the firm.

“CEO Action has always been driven by the belief that when businesses work collectively to drive progress, we can truly harness lasting change,” said Weathers, CEO Action for Racial Equity CEO. “The systemic racial injustice across our country has disproportionately impacted Black Americans and it is what is pushing us to do more. Now is the time to use our collective talent, passion and diverse perspectives to advance societal systemic change and improve equitable opportunities.”

The establishment of the fellowship comes on the heels of a commitment from PwC US Chair and Senior Partner and CEO Action steering committee chair Tim Ryan's announcement in June of six commitments to address racism in society, one of which was to launch a public policy fellowship to address social injustice alongside fellow CEOs who were seeking to make a change.

It is overseen and governed by the CEO Action for Racial Equity Governing Committee, a group of 20 CEOs representing multiple industries and regions. Denny's CEO John Miller is one of the Governing Committee members committed to driving change. Miller joined Denny's in 2011 and has helped the company build meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including its unconscious bias trainings, Hungry for Education scholarship program, and Supplier Diversity program.

“Prioritizing diversity and inclusion makes Denny's a better business, a better employer and a better member of the diverse communities we serve across the country and abroad,” says April Kelly-Drummond, Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement at Denny's. “Being a signatory and joining CEO Action for Racial Equality has opened up an important dialogue and started many candid conversations that have helped inform our DE&I strategy.”

“For decades, Denny's has taken steps to ensure that our commitment to DE&I is met at every level of the business. We understand that change requires a long-term, sustainable commitment and we joined the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion coalition to help emphasize that,” says John Miller, CEO of Denny's. “Now being a part of CEO Action for Racial Equality gives us an even bigger role in making meaningful change, together with other leaders. Diversity, inclusion and equity are not something one company can achieve on its own and it's rewarding to be part of the collective action that CEO Action promotes.”

The CEO Action for Racial Equity Governing Committee includes:

  • John Rogers, Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments
  • Joe Davis, Chairman, North America, BCG
  • Mike Mahoney, Chairman & CEO, Boston Scientific Corporation
  • Gary C. Bhojwani, CEO, CNO Financial Group
  • John Miller, CEO, Denny's
  • Russell Dubner, President & CEO, U.S., Edelman
  • Charles Meyers, President & CEO, Equinix
  • Tim Wentworth, President, Express Scripts and Cigna Services
  • Kelly Grier, US Chair and Managing Partner; Americas Managing Partner, EY
  • James Rhee, CEO & Founder, FirePine Group
  • Cid Wilson, President & CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
  • Enrique Lores, President & CEO, HP
  • Marianne Harrison, President & CEO, John Hancock
  • Jeff Gennette, Chairman & CEO, Macy's
  • Roger Crandall, Chairman, President & CEO, Mass Mutual
  • David Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, P&G
  • Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Papa John's
  • Tim Ryan, Senior Partner and Chair, PwC and Steering Committee Chair, CEO Action
  • Christopher J. Swift, Chairman & CEO, The Hartford
  • Wayne Peacock, President & CEO, USAA

For a full list of signatory fellowship participants or more information on how to become a signatory, visit ceoaction.com/racial-equity.

About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Bringing together more than 1,300 CEOs and presidents of America's leading businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits representing more than 13 million employees, the commitment outlines actions that participating organizations pledge to take to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com and connect with us on Twitter: @CEOAction.

About Denny’s Corp.

Denny's Corporation is the franchisor and operator of one of America's largest full-service family restaurant chains, based on the number of restaurants. Denny's has approximately 1,700 franchised, licensed, and company restaurants around the world including 147 restaurants in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zealand, Honduras, the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Guam, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Aruba. For further information on Denny's, including news releases, please visit the Denny's website at www.dennys.com or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn or YouTube.