Foot Locker reveals how it has spent $54M to benefit Black people
The varied efforts since the 2020 start of its development initiative include expanding opportunities for Black employees and working with more Black vendors and nonprofits.
On Monday, the start of National Black Business Month, retail shoe giant Foot Locker revealed that since the launch of its Leading Education & Economic Development Initiative in June 2020, it has made more than $54 million in investments and partnerships in the Black community.
These varied economic and educational opportunities, officials say, include expanding programming for Black students and employees, as well as elevating and working with more Black vendors, community nonprofits and creators.
“Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business,” Richard Johnson, Foot Locker Inc. chairman and CEO, said in a press release noting the company’s second annual progress report on its global initiatives to enfranchise Blacks. “Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and opportunities that empower, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.”
Foot Locker noted that through LEED, it has invested in and empowered Black-owned brands such as Pro Standard, Don C, Abeille Creations, Grady Baby Company & Apparel and Clan de Banlieue, among others. The sneaker giant said it remains committed to seeking out and celebrating Black brands and creators.
The company has also committed $21 million to Black-led venture capital firms, which provide funds to projects, products, apps and services that enhance the health and wealth of America’s Black community.
An additional $10.8 million went to an investment in partnerships with Black-owned vendors who work with the shoe giant on a variety of internal projects, including marketing and public relations, information technology, general construction, store fixtures — even meetings and events.
Foot Locker also awarded 25 community organizations with grants of $20,000 to $100,000 each to provide under-invested communities with programs that improve health, wealth and upward mobility. It said 11,000 people ages 4 to 24 are being helped via those organizations.
For Black employees at Foot Locker, there is a scholarship program, an internship program, a financial literacy program and a program called B.U.I.L.D. — Blacks United in Leadership and Development — that fosters the creation and execution of programs there that help improve the work experience and access to more opportunities for career development.
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