There is a deep-rooted concept in Judaism called Tikkun Olam, which translated means repairing the world, also taught as heal the earth. This concept means different things to different people, but for me it means engaging in social action and social justice work and behaving and acting constructively – in a manner that benefits society. This concept has been a driving force in my life.
My parents were committed community activists in Detroit when I was growing up. They were dedicated to causes that helped foster a healthy community – including both people and places. From a very early age, my parents took my brothers and me to community and political activities – from monthly park clean-ups to working at food banks distributing food to those in need to hearing important people speak, including Martin Luther King, Jr.
My mom taught for many years at The Detroit Day School for the Deaf, which is part of the Detroit Public School System. As a result, we became quite involved with the deaf community, and we frequently hosted her students and their families at our house, playing sports, helping put on plays and concerts and having picnics. Being accepted into the deaf community helped me see, we are all the same, even if we receive the world through different internal channels.
My parents’ devotion to community has stayed with me throughout my life. But my passion for community was truly ignited in the early 1980s when I was living in Chicago after college. For a couple of years I worked as the assistant director of Illinois’ largest public interest group, which was a coalition made up of various organizations ranging from farmers’ groups to environmental activists to community organizations working with the homeless. I was in my early 20s and I became absolutely enthralled by the possibilities of being part of positive change. I actually tease my daughters that I thought recycling was cool long before we put out recycling bins with the weekly garbage trash collection. A mentor of mine at the time said to me “One person can make a difference.” And that really stuck with me.
Now, as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Aptiv, I have a tremendous appreciation for our employees around the world who work day-in and day-out to make a difference. Not just in their jobs, but in their communities, where they lead give-back activities.
Part of the reason our global employees can lead efforts to reduce waste, emissions and water consumption as well contribute positively to local communities, is because Aptiv has created a culture that encourages and embraces positive behavior.
In my capacity as chief compliance officer at Aptiv, I try to help instill and foster a culture that puts ethics and integrity at the core of everything we do and how we do it. We have to do more than just pay lip service to those words. We must live them through our actions. For me, that means helping to create and enforce standards centered on those values and creating tools to ensure that ethics and integrity are the cornerstones for everything we do at Aptiv.
I truly appreciate and applaud the Aptiv employees around the world who have chosen to make a difference. As a company composed of individuals whose ideas and passion have helped reduce our environmental footprint, improved workplace safety and given back to countless charities.
I invite you to explore our efforts and achievements in Community & Social Responsibility (CSR) in this new report.
I am committed to continuing and growing our dedication to CSR, one person at a time.