United by Our Differences: Companies Speak Out, Donate to Stop Racial Injustice

BY BRETT CHRISTIE, WORLDATWORK

WORKSPAN DAILY | JUNE 5, 2020

People around the United States and the world have gathered to protest police brutality and the unjust deaths of black Americans like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others.


In the past week, many notable corporations have felt compelled to speak out. Since Floyd’s death on May 25, social media has been flooded with striking images of crowded protests, alongside shareable resource posts about protesters’ bail funds, anti-racism nonprofits, and black-owned businesses. “We applaud what companies are doing to support their communities and we stand with those that take a firm stance against racism, injustice and all forms of inequity,” said Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “We believe that our differences unite us and make us stronger. Every individual has personal worth and character. We all should stand together for diversity and inclusion.”

"The world works best when we value, appreciate and celebrate our differences.”– Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork

The following is a compilation of companies that have issued statements of support for the black community and those protesting.


General Motors Announces Creation of a Company Inclusion Advisory Board General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the creation of the “Inclusion Advisory Board” within the company amid protests against racism and police brutality. Barra will serve as the chair of the new Inclusion Advisory Board, which will also include high-level GM executives and outside community leaders. She says GM hopes to become “the most inclusive company in the world,” after setting up the new advisory council. YouTube Pledges $1 Million YouTube announced that it would pledge $1 million to The Center for Policing Equity, an organization that works with law enforcement to promote more equitable practices based on the organization’s research.


McDonald’s to Hold a Town Hall for U.S. Employees In a letter on LinkedIn, McDonald’s president Joe Erlinger emphasized the company’s values of diversity and asked for feedback from his employees on how the company could better support African American communities. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski wrote a letter to employees and noted that the company would hold a town hall for U.S.-based employees. Amazon Releases Statement on Twitter Target Responds to Local Protests CEO Brian Cornell released a statement on how the company would address the situation in Minneapolis after a Target was looted amid protests and other Target locations were damaged. Cornell said the company would provide first aid, food and basic needs in the community as well as supporting employees at shutdown stores by continuing to pay workers for 14 days.


Glossier Says It Will Donate $500K Skincare and beauty company Glossier announced that it would donate $500,000 to Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute and We the Protesters. The company also said it would be giving $500,000 in grants to black-owned beauty businesses. Starbucks Committing $1 Million In a LinkedIn post, Starbucks announced it was committing $1 million to organizations promoting racial equity and more inclusive and just communities. The organizations will be nominated by Starbucks employees. Facebook Pledging $10 Million Toward Fighting Racial Injustice Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted on his platform that the company is pledging $10 million to groups working on racial justice. Zuckerberg said the company is working with civil rights advisors and employees to identify organizations locally and nationally that “could most effectively use this right now.”


Disney Pledges $5 Million to Advance Social Justice The Walt Disney Company announced that it has pledged $5 million to support nonprofit organizations that advance social justice, beginning with a $2 million donation to the NAACP.


Google Announces $12 Million Commitment Google announced it is committing $12 million in funds to organizations working to address racial inequity, starting with grants to Center for Policing Equity and Equal Justice Initiative. The company announced as well that employees observed an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence to honor the memories of George Floyd and black lives lost.


Apple Donates to Various Organizations  Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter on the company’s home page that emphasized speaking up on racism. Cook also said the company has donated to several organizations fighting racial injustice, including the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative.


Netflix Releases Message on Social Media


Microsoft Advocates for Change Through Empathy Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella released a statement advocating for change through empathy and highlighted the company’s work with the Criminal Justice Reform Initiative. The company is also releasing statements from various black employees at Microsoft on LinkedIn.


Nike’s New Ad Calls for Social Change


About the Author

Brett Christie is the managing editor of Workspan Daily.

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