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Walmart pledging $100 million to strengthen racial equity

Walmart is pledging $100 million over the next five years to create a new center on racial equity.
Walmart storefront. (NBC photo)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committing $100 million over the next five years to create a new center on racial equity, CEO Doug McMillon announced in an email to employees on Friday.

McMillon said the goal of the center is to help advance economic opportunity and healthier living, strengthening workforce development and related educational systems, and support criminal justice reform and examining barriers to opportunity faced by those exiting the system.

"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 fullyacknowledge and resolve the root issues. Slavery, lynching, the conceptof separate but equal and the other realities from our past have morphedinto a set of systems today that are all too often, unjust. That’s whywe see so many people mobilized and that’s why we see a diverse group ofAmericans 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."

Read McMillon's full statement here.