Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committing $100 million to create a new center on racial equity, CEO Doug McMillon announced in a video to employees on Friday.
Through the $100 million commitment, the center will support philanthropic initiatives that align with four key areas: the nation’s financial, healthcare, education, and criminal justice systems.
"The goal of the center is to help 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," McMillon said.
McMillion said Walmart will identify overlaps in areas like minority supplier and marketplace seller development, driving level playing fields and economic access to minority owned businesses.
The will also continue reviewing and evolving their hiring process to ensure non-violent, formerly incarcerated applicants are appropriately considered as they enter the workforce.
"For all of our associates, we are thankful for the dedication and hard work you’ve poured into this demanding year and we will spend time during this meeting to show our gratitude.
The murder of George Floyd is tragic, painful, and unacceptable. His death is not an isolated event. We remember Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other Black Americans who have been killed. It’s important that we all understand that our problems, as a nation, run much deeper than one horrible event. Our nation has failed to fully acknowledge and resolve the root issues. Slavery, lynching, the concept of separate but equal and the other realities from our past have morphed into a set of systems today that are all too often, unjust. That’s why we see so many people mobilized and that’s why we see a diverse group of Americans joining the protest.
Walmart has over 340,000 Black and African American associates in the United States. Over the past few days, I’ve personally heard from many of our associates, leaders and members of the Walmart community. Overwhelmingly, people are hurting. There is an intense sense of pain, fatigue, and frustration. Let me say clearly to our Black and African American associates and communities, we hear you. We see you. I want you to know you are valued. You are loved members of our family. We need you to know you are not hurting alone. That I and others are hurting with you."
To view the full statement click here.