Walmart Awards $14 Million Of $100 Million Racial Equity Pledge

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation pledged to contribute $100 million over five years through a Center for Racial Equity to help address racial disparities in the U.S. in June 2020. Walmart announced today that Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are distributing the first $14.3 million of that commitment in grants to 16 nonprofits.  

“Walmart has made a commitment to advancing racial equity, finding areas where we, as a company, can best contribute our resources and expertise to change society’s systems that perpetuate racism and discrimination,” said Kirstie Sims, senior director of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity. “We are excited to announce our initial investment to these deserving nonprofits that help advance racial equity through their organizations every day.” 

The mission of the center is to complement and extend the societal impact of Walmart business initiatives to advance racial equity in the nation’s financial, health, criminal justice and education systems. The first grant distributions will be awarded to the following organizations, which focus on one or more of these areas: 

American Heart Association (AHA), Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund ($5 million from the Walmart Foundation): AHA’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund is an initiative to improve health equity by supporting community-driven entrepreneurial solutions addressing social determinants of health. The Walmart Foundation’s investment will provide resources to the Fund to make approximately 40 loans and grants to community-based organizations and entrepreneurs in Atlanta and Chicago that are working to increase access to affordable and healthy food in communities of color.  

U.S. Vaccine Adoption Grants ($2.75 million from the Walmart Foundation): The Walmart Foundation is honored to support organizations that are working on interventions in and with diverse communities around the United States to increase education, outreach and awareness of COVID-19 vaccines. The Walmart Foundation has provided grants to the following organizations that are positioned to help address education needs around COVID-19 vaccine uptake: NAACP Empowerment Programs, Inc.UnidosUSJohns Hopkins Center for American Indian HealthAssociation of Asian-Pacific Community Health Organizations, the National Council of Asian Pacific Islander PhysiciansAsian & Pacific Islander American Health ForumInterfaith Youth Core and The Conference of National Black Churches

Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) ($1 million from the Walmart Foundation):  SFI’s mission is to provide alternative financing for HBCU juniors and seniors majoring in STEM to help reduce their student loans/debt. The Walmart Foundation’s investment will support the operating costs associated with the planning and launch of SFI with an initial cohort in the fall 2021 academic year.  

Harlem Children’s Zone ($500,000 from Walmart): This grant will enable Harlem Children’s Zone to operationalize The Take on Race Coalition’s 1 Million Connected Devices Initiative. Walmart’s investment will enable two key components of this work: 1. Provide 1,250 low-income students with remote learning equipment and internet access and 2. Provide resources for policy work that will support sustainable solutions to the digital divide. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change  (The King Center) ($100,000 from the Walmart Foundation): The King Centerprepares global citizens to create a more just, humane, peaceful and equitable world using Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology. The Walmart Foundation’s grant will help support two impactful programs of The King Center, including Nonviolent 365 ® Education & Training, a program designed to help participants understand and apply their lives to Dr. King’s six steps and principles of nonviolence as well as the Camp NOW Leadership Academy, a multi-year program that helps low-income youths ages 13-19 experience and prepare for academic and career success.  

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) ($2 million from Walmart): LISC is a nonprofit with strong community partnerships that connect hard-to-tap public and private resources with underinvested places and people. Since 1980, LISC’s Chicago office has focused on equitable development, ensuring every Chicago neighborhood and its residents have the opportunity to benefit from economic transformation by building community wealth. This investment will support LISC’s Chicago Project 10X work, a strategy to greatly advance racial equity across health, wealth and opportunity. 

Echoing Green (EG) ($1.5 million from the Walmart Foundation): Echoing Green is an organization that develops diverse future global leaders in social innovation; invests in seed funding and providing support to their emerging social enterprises; and builds leadership capacity through a renowned, competitive fellowship program. The Walmart Foundation’s investment in support of Echoing Green’s Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund will help support social entrepreneurs in communities across the U.S. to grow the organizations they lead and to advance their work to address issues related to racial equity.  

Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) ($1 million from the Walmart Foundation): ABFE is a national membership organization that promotes effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. The Walmart Foundation’s investment will strengthen ABFE’s capacity to coordinate people, information, investments and practices that advance racial equity.   

PolicyLink ($500,000 from Walmart):  PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity. Walmart’s grant will help support the launch of the Racial Equity through Corporate Actions Initiative, which will drive the creation and adoption of corporate standards on racial equity that will be freely available to companies.