How Businesses Have Become Involved in The Black Lives Matter Movement
Today's businesses cannot merely exist. They need to have purpose and values that they stand behind. Gone are the days that a company is measured solely by its profit margins. The organization’s that perform the best and have the most long-term success also have societal impact.
As the social movement, Black Lives Matter continues to grow and increase awareness about racial inequities nationwide, more and more businesses are getting involved with the cause. The 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ignited a cultural awakening that more had to be done on a corporate level to help fund the fight against racial injustice. In the wake of the shooting, hundreds of brands made public announcements about their donations to the Black Lives Matter movement.
In 2020, Walmart announced its plans to contribute $100 million over five years to create a new center for racial equity in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. In an email to employees, Walmart CEO, Doug McMillan, said this initiative would advance economic opportunity, healthier living, strengthen workforce development and education, and support criminal justice reform by analyzing barriers to opportunity that are currently faced by those in the system.
In partnership with its Black@DoorDash Employee Resource Group (ERG), the food delivery service announced a $500,000 donation to BLM. The company's CEO said the goal of this donation was to stand with their employees and community members to fight injustice, inequality, and discrimination. The CEO also said the grants would help support organizations fighting structural and systematic racism while providing local community development, mentorship, education, and entrepreneurship programs to help support Black communities nationwide.
Women's shapewear brand Spanx announced a $200,000 commitment to combating racial injustice. The company donated $100,000 across national organizations whose purpose is fighting racial inequality, including Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Spanx donated an additional $100,000 to organizations in the CEO's hometown of Atlanta.
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, health care giant UnitedHealth Group announced a $10 million commitment of support to Floyd's kids and Minnesota businesses impacted by the civil unrest that followed his death. The company also donated $5 million to the YMCA Equity Innovation Center of Excellence. UnitedHealth employs more than 20,000 Minnesotans, and its headquarters are outside of Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed.
Amazon pledged a $10 million donation to organizations that support justice and equity, including the BLM Global Network Foundation. Amazon stated that it planned to donate a total of $10 million to organizations working towards social justice and improving the lives of Black Americans. The recipients were selected with the help of Amazon's Black Employee Network (BEN) and include groups focused on combating systematic racism and those dedicated to expanding educational and economic opportunities in Black communities across the United States.
In a 2020 Instagram post, Peloton announced a $500,000 donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The post also encouraged others to donate to the Black Lives Matter Cause.
San Francisco clothing retailer Everlane donated $75,000 to both the Equal Justice Initiative and the ACLU. The company also published a document with detailed directions on how people and corporations could become involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. The paper highlighted demonstrations, films to watch, podcasts to listen to, petitions to sign, and Black-owned businesses to support nationwide, organized by the city.
Target has pledged a $10 million commitment to efforts focused on advancing social justice, including the National Urban League and the African American Leadership Forum. The big-box retailer also committed 10,000 hours of pro-bono consulting for Minneapolis small, black-owned businesses.
Famous athletic wear brand Lululemon initially pledged $100,000 on Instagram to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. But, they received an abundance of donations and decided to channel their resources into other foundations that stand for change. Lululemon contributed $250,000 to local Minneapolis organizations, including Rebuild Lake Street and Friends of the Hennepin County Library. They also donated to national organizations, including the NAACP and Black Lives Matter.
BCT — Your Partner to Combat Racial Injustice
BCT Partners is a minority-owned management consulting company that has clients both in government and private industry. Our mission is to provide insights about diverse people that lead to equity. We focus on organizational development, DEI training, and implementing and consulting on new technologies. Contact BCT Partners today to learn more about the importance of getting involved in social equity at a corporate level and how they can help you start.