August 19, 2000Dr. Norris W. Crigler, Jr. MD
Dear Dr. Crigler,
For four years I and others in Community Friends For Corporate Responsibility (CFCR) have been working quietly behind the scenes with Bob Burgin and many of the staff at MSJHS to improve the organizational culture and increase the number and the promotional prospects of minority employees.
We have often talked about the subtle messages that go out from the hospital that tend to set a tone. Changing those messages, everyone agrees, is a crucial part of the overall goal of creating the new organizational culture senior management has committed to creating.
You have come into the discussion because of the prominent role you play at the hospital and because your name was included in a front page Living Section article in the June 11, 2000 Asheville Citizen-Times about the Rhododendron Royal Brigade of Guards Debutante Club. As the attached June 13, 2000 letter to the President of that Club indicates, the public and private roles of members become blurred when the private activities are publicized and promoted as they are in that article. Moreover, in the case of the RRBG, we conclude the overall impact on the community of such publicized activity is negative.
WNCCEIB has not received a reply to the June 13 letter. Because no officers' names or contact information were given in the newspaper article, I am writing to you to request that you forward my letter to the appropriate officer. The address I had from our previous interaction with the Club may longer be in effect.
I also ask you to step back and look a the big picture of the community in which I think Mission management and all of us want to live. I know it may seem presumptuous to you that I write to you in this manner. But, I think you and the Club should be aware that many African American and other citizens in the community consider it even more presumptuous that an all-white debutante club in the year 2000 is still publicizing and promoting itself without any sense of self-examination or consideration of the negative impact it is having on the togetherness of our community. From the standpoint of MSJHS, your publicized participation sends a subtle message of a bifurcated policy and tends to undermine the sincerely of hospital efforts. Obviously you have no such intentions but the end result may be inescapable despite your personal perspective.
I hope you can help rectify the situation and be an active part of the effort to create a welcoming community both within and outside the hospital. I would be happy to meet with you or discuss our concerns. Thank you for your consideration of these requests and I hope you will let me know the name of the current RRBG President and his address.