Walmart gives $14 million to racial equity nonprofits, kicking off 5-year plan

In June, the retailer pledged to donate a total of $100 million over five years.

February 1, 2021, 3:42 PM

Walmart and its namesake foundation announced Monday they are distributing $14.3 million to more than a dozen nonprofits that support racial equity.

The retailer and the Walmart Foundation pledged to contribute a total of $100 million over five years to combat racial disparities in the U.S. in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd this past summer.

Monday's announcement marked the first round of giving toward that goal.

PHOTO: A U.S. flag flies at Walmart store, May 16, 2019, in Miami, Fla.
A U.S. flag flies at Walmart store, May 16, 2019, in Miami, Fla.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images, FILE

"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," Kirstie Sims the senior director of the Walmart's newly formed Center for Racial Equity, said in a statement.

"We are excited to announce our initial investment to these deserving nonprofits that help advance racial equity through their organizations every day," Sims added.

The organizations reflected a wide range of efforts in the spheres of health, education and more.

The three recipients that received the largest sums from Walmart include: $5 million to the American Heart Association's Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund, a group that aims to improve health equity through entrepreneurial grants; $2.75 million to the U.S. Vaccine Adoption Grants, a group that increases COVID-19 vaccine education; and $1 million to the Student Freedom Initiative, a group that aids STEM majors at historically Black colleges and universities.

In total, the more than $14 million in grants was divided between 16 different nonprofit organizations.

After Floyd's death in May, the private sector faced immense pressure to respond to issues of systemic racism in the nation, and many took heat for public-facing statements not accompanied by further action.

Over the summer and beyond, Walmart and many other large firms in the U.S. rolled out ambitious goals to respond to racial inequities either through large donations or revamped diversity and inclusion initiatives.

As the summer's protests died down, many activists are now working on sustaining the momentum toward achieving social justice and racial equity.

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