As a 150-year-old company, we are not just suddenly becoming aware of this sobering reality. Back in 1991, we began hosting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast, a community-wide event in Minneapolis, Minnesota, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, raising over $6mm for the United Negro College Fund to fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities and help Black students get to and through college. 25 years ago, we founded our Black Champions Network to champion the recruitment, retention, development and success of our Black employees. We have championed the Black community, both in the people we employ and the consumers we serve.
And yet today, our company sits squarely in a city that has some of the largest racial disparities in the country.
We can no longer rely on our previous actions to take us into the future. They are not enough. We must stand up. We must lead differently, vocally, tirelessly. While the issue of systemic racism runs deep and wide, we will focus our efforts where our expertise is most impactful: equitable food access, equity in education, and equity in representation. By focusing here, we choose to support the Black community. A choice suggests the opportunity or privilege of choosing freely. And as a $17 billion dollar company, with over 35,000 employees, we must use that privilege wisely. We must see and be the change.
In order to lead, we cannot just operate, we need to innovate. We need to listen to our Black employees, our Black consumers and communities of color. We need to realize that the change needed is bigger than us, but that it's our responsibility to ask, ‘What can we do to help?' We need to invite others to join us.
History will look back on this moment. It is our duty and our privilege to be on the right side of it.
We will not be the ones who looked on and didn't do enough. We will be a Force for Good.
We have a lot of work to do.
View our Allyship resources.