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The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Response to the Israel-Hamas War

The following message was sent to all LLS employees on October 11, 2023: 

Dear LLS Community,   

As an organization, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is focused on saving lives. During our recent all-staff meeting, we shared how devastated and heartbroken we are by the death and destruction caused by the terrorist attack on Israeli citizens and the developing war. A war that has put so many innocent Israeli and Palestinian lives in harm’s way.   

The events of the last several days have hit home for too many members of our LLS community who have connections to the region. This includes family, friends, colleagues, patients, volunteers, employees, as well as medical staff and scientists working to advance our lifesaving mission for blood cancer patients. Watching this unfold has evoked feelings of helplessness, fear, anxiety, and despair.   

LLS stands against acts of terrorism of any kind. We have zero tolerance for violence, bigotry, hate, and discrimination.  

In response to a recent rise in discrimination and in light of current events, LLS is prioritizing action against anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination. We are committed to elevating the experiences of Jewish, Muslim, and MENA (Middle Eastern and North African) employees – and members of all marginalized religious groups – as part of our established organizational culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and our ongoing DEI efforts, which include signing the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and Working with Cancer pledges. Read more about LLS’s DEI Commitment here.   

LLS has taken the following additional actions to support our employees:   

  • Hosted an open discussion forum for employees to share their experiences with colleagues and find support 

  • Pointed to resources, including our existing Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which includes access to counseling and other mental health support, which includes access to counseling and other mental health support  

And today, LLS has signed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Workplace Pledge to Fight Anti-Semitism. Our commitment to this pledge presents a powerful opportunity for LLS to further our DEI efforts and build upon our commitment to creating a truly inclusive environment.    

LLS pledges to:   

  1. Directly address anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination in our existing DEI strategies: LLS will continue to address anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim as a core element of our DEI strategies and actively stand against bias and hatred within our workplace.      

  1. Expand our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for marginalized religious groups: LLS will add to our 10 existing ERGs by establishing a group to support marginalized religious communities, amplify their voices, and create a space where their unique perspectives and needs are valued and met.   

  1. Explore ways to raise awareness of our religious accommodation policies: LLS is committed to maintaining equitable religious accommodation policies to ensure employees of all faiths can practice their beliefs freely.   

  1. Use our platforms to speak out: Our endorsement of this pledge highlights our readiness to leverage our platforms to denounce acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim discrimination and actively counter all forms of prejudice.   

To learn more about the ADL Workplace Pledge to Fight Antisemitism, click here.   

 We acknowledge that more work needs to be done to ensure all our employees, volunteers, supporters, patients, and their families feel a sense of belonging and care. We’re committed to continuing to listen, learn and take appropriate action as this crisis evolves.   

Stay well,   

LLS Executive Leadership Team (ELT)  

*Updated October 16, 2023.