Walmart and Kroger Pledge Millions for Racial Equity Funds and Grants
UNITED STATES - Two of retail’s most prominent figures have marked the beginning of Black History Month with investments aimed at ramping up racial equity throughout the retail sector. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are distributing the first $14.3 million of a $100-million-commitment made in June of last year. Kroger has pledged $3 million through partnerships with Black Girl Ventures, Everytable, LISC, and Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“Walmart has made a commitment to advancing racial equity, finding areas where we, as a company, can best contribute our resources and expertise to change society’s systems that perpetuate racism and discrimination,” said Kirstie Sims, Senior Director of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. “We are excited to announce our initial investment to these deserving nonprofits that help advance racial equity through their organizations every day.”
According to a press release, the mission of the center is to complement and extend the societal impact of Walmart business initiatives to advance racial equity in the nation’s financial, health, criminal justice, and education systems.
The following associations will receive a portion of the $14.3 million:
- Student Freedom Initiative
- Harlem Children’s Zone
- Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
- Echoing Green
- Association of Black Foundation Executives
“When we address racial gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity, we strengthen our communities and make our economy work better for everyone," said Maurice A. Jones, President and CEO of LISC. “That’s why innovative collaborations between business and philanthropy are so important, especially with partners like Walmart. Working together, we can fuel strategies that break down systemic barriers and help build a broadly shared prosperity throughout the country.”
Kroger, too, is investing in the community through a variety of grants.
Just today, the retailer announced the recipients of its Racial Equity Fund Build It Together grant challenge, an initiative that awards $3 million in grants and forges partnerships with innovative organizations to help build more equitable, inclusive communities.
“We launched our Framework for Action: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion plan with the goal of harnessing Kroger’s collective energy to advance racial equality in our culture and our communities,” said Keith Dailey, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Corporate Affairs and President of The Kroger Co. Foundation. “The intent of The Kroger Co. Foundation’s Racial Equity Fund is to catalyze innovative approaches to help create more equitable, inclusive, and stronger communities. The Build It Together cohort reflects a group of enterprising organizations that are committed to creating lasting change for communities of color. We're honored to partner with them.”
The grant recipients include:
- Black Girl Ventures
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund
“We’re eager to partner with these four exceptional organizations to create a brighter, more equitable future for the communities we serve,” said Sunny Reelhorn Parr, Executive Director of The Kroger Co. Foundation. “As a purpose-led organization, we know that actions speak louder than words. We remain committed to not only illuminating the important, impactful work of groups like these but also sharing our resources and delivering on the promises of our Framework for Action to accelerate meaningful change in our culture and country.”
As more retailers work to enact real social change, we here at AndNowUKnow will follow along and applaud their efforts.