During the month of June, Americans have seen institutions across the country come out with statements regarding diversity and inclusion.
Business giants and popular organizations, including Walmart and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, have adopted programs intended to promote racial equity.
“We know it takes more than talk. It takes action. We are taking steps to address racism head-on and accelerate change, including Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committing $100 million over five years so we can move forward, together,” Walmart tweeted.
We know it takes more than talk. It takes action. We are taking steps to address racism head-on and accelerate change, including Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committing $100 million over five years so we can move forward, together. pic.twitter.com/PKrPvkwnWP
— Walmart (@Walmart) June 5, 2020
McMillon informed the company that the money would support philanthropic initiatives that go hand in hand with the United States financial, health care, education and criminal justice systems.
“To influence and lead change, we are going to use the power of Walmart to invest resources and develop strategies to increase fairness, equity, and justice in aspects of everyday life,” McMillon said.
We’re listening. We’re learning. We’re taking action. Last week, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years to address racism head-on and accelerate meaningful change in communities across the country. Learn more here: https://t.co/BcyLNm6kY5 pic.twitter.com/Wmk3716IrP
— Walmart (@Walmart) June 12, 2020
“Of course, we need to go further in hiring Black and African American associates across all levels and positions,” McMillon wrote in the memo. “And we need to ensure they are remaining with us and growing in their careers.”
“Black Lives Matter. It is all our responsibilities to embrace that fact in what we say and what we do.”
The retailer promised that there will be more distribution opportunities for minority-owned suppliers and it will find ways to make its pharmacies and Walmart Health Clinics are more accessible.
Walmart’s plan also includes how its Live Better U program, which launched in 2018, will create “broader and deeper ties through our recruiting programs with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”
This program helps Walmart employees earn high school diplomas and college degrees and allows them to develop skills in a specific trade at a more affordable rate.
Additionally, the new plan will offer equal opportunities to those who have been incarcerated for nonviolent offenses.
On the same day that Walmart announced the second part of its initiative, the academy released a similar plan to promote racial equity in the film industry.
“The Academy will encourage equitable hiring practices and representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the film community,” the plan read.
We are excited to announce the next phase of our equity and inclusion initiative. In our efforts to increase representation, we are working to create new industry standards, add new voices to our Board of Governors and expand the Best Picture category. https://t.co/HSIfHtXPVh
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) June 12, 2020
The academy’s efforts will encourage racial equity not only on screen but also through several opportunities offered to students, women, underrepresented artists and others.
Some of these opportunities include the Academy Grants Program, the Student Academy Awards and Action: The Academy Women’s Initiative.
“How can you, as an anti-racist ally, create an environment where Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, LGBTQ, those with disabilities and women, don’t feel it’s a big decision to speak up?” McMillon said.
“Let’s create a supportive, trustful environment where people can share how they’re feeling, so ‘small’ issues don’t stack up.”
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