Kaiser Permanente drops out of civic coalition until 'real progress is made' with diversity, inclusion

Kaiser Permanente is separating itself from the Sonoma County Alliance, a business and civic coalition, over concerns about racial inclusion, according to the North Bay Business Journal

The Oakland, Calif.-based system is leaving after the ex-president of the alliance, Doug Hilberman, published a letter on its website that began with "ALL lives matter." The phrase is seen as divisive and unsympathetic toward the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Mr. Hilberman's statement accompanied a broader criticism of vandalism toward downtown businesses, including his own architectural firm, during June protests against police brutality and racial injustice. 

He resigned from his position June 28, noting, "I wrote a June message that I am now aware was terribly insensitive and harmful to our community. I am incredibly sorry for the impact that this has had on our organization and the community."

Kaiser Permanente is cutting ties with the alliance and its board until "real progress has been made with tangible results in the areas of equity and inclusion," according to Tarek Salaway, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente’s Marin-Sonoma service area.

Kaiser also said it wants the makeup of the coalition to more closely resemble the makeup of its community. 

As of July 7, the website for SCA's board of directors was blank.

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