Story at a glance
- McMillon announced Friday the company will commit $100 million over five years to create a new center on racial equity.
- He said the center will “seek to advance economic opportunity and healthier living,” outlining steps it will take to address systemic issues.
- He said Walmart will also ramp up recruitment and support of people of color.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon is pledging to donate $100 million over five years to create a new center on racial equity following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died as a result of an arrest by Minneapolis police.
In an email to employees Friday, McMillon condemned racial violence and said the company plans to make changes to fight for greater racial equity inside and outside of Walmart.
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“The global health crisis has tested all of us in recent months, and the racial violence in the U.S.— in particular, the murder of George Floyd — is tragic, painful and unacceptable,” McMillon wrote in the email.
The Walmart CEO laid out several initiatives the company will undertake, including making the recruitment, development and support of African Americans inside the company “even more of a priority.” The company will also invest in improving fairness, equity and justice in society broadly.
“We will find the natural overlaps between Walmart’s core business and society’s larger needs that perpetuate racism and discrimination,” McMillon wrote. “Specifically, we’re going to focus the power of Walmart on our nation’s financial, healthcare, education and criminal justice systems.”
McMillon said the center focused on racial equity “will seek to advance economic opportunity and healthier living, including issues surrounding the social determinants of health, strengthening workforce development and related educational systems, and support criminal justice reform with an emphasis on examining barriers to opportunity faced by those exiting the system.”
Cellphone video of a Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd to the ground and kneeling on his neck as Floyd cried out for air has ignited widespread outrage and days of demonstrations in many cities across the country. Floyd’s death at the hands of police has put the issue of racial injustice in the U.S. to the forefront.
Several other large corporations have made promises to address systemic racism, including Nike, which announced on Friday it will commit $40 million over the next four years to support the black community in the U.S.
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