Tensions are running high as people across the country protest in response to the unjust killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black Americans. In today’s social climate, companies are feeling the pressure to speak out on the history of racial injustice in America, and are even taking action within their own businesses. As a consumer, it can be difficult to figure out what brands are actually dedicated to supporting Black people in America, and which brands are merely virtue signaling to avoid backlash.
Here are 6 brands whose activism goes above and beyond a single Instagram post:
Marvin Ellison, the CEO of Lowe’s, announced that the home improvement company will be donating $25 million in grants to minority-owned small businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ellison encouraged CEOs of other large corporations to do the same.
“We just want to continue to not only run a good business but also be a great corporate citizen in all of the communities that we operate in. To all my fellow CEOs out there running large companies - let’s do our part to help the small businesses get back up and going,” Ellison said in a CNBC “Mad Money” interview.
Applications for the first round of grants are due June 18th.
Ellison, one of only 4 Black Fortune 500 CEOs, shared his personal understanding of the frustrations and fear that many are feeling in response to the death of several innocent Black men and women. He also expressed his commitment to providing the company’s leaders with the education and resources needed to support and uplift the Black community.
PPG Industries is a global supplier of paints, coating, optical supplies, and specialty materials. Their motto is “We protect and beautify the world.” In a press release written on behalf of PPG, it states: “Our purpose states that ‘we protect and beautify the world,’ and this has never been more important than now. We stand in support of organizations addressing racial injustices and are enabling our employees to do the same.” PPG is taking action in a number of ways, including making donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Center for Policing Equality, and the Equal Justice Initiative. For the entire month of June, PPG is also doubling their standard employee donation matching program for employees that make personal donations to social justice organizations.
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor
Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are two internet services used to connect homeowners with trade pros for remodeling and repair projects. Merged together to create ANGI Homeservices Inc., both companies expressed solidarity with the #BLM cause by donating to the Equal Justice Initiative. Both companies encouraged followers on Instagram to donate, as well as take a pause from social media to hear the unheard, and seek education about racial history.
Discount home decor retailer, HomeGoods, announced on Instgram that they will make a long term commitment to increase diversity and inclusion in collaboration with sister companies, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Sierra Trading Post, which are all owned by TJX Companies. According to TJX Companies CEO, Ernie Herrman, they plan to donate $10 million over the next two years to organizations that combat racial injustice and systemic racism. In addition to donations, the company expressed taking initiatives to assemble a diverse staff at all levels that will engage in open discussions about the next steps towards making a change.
House Beautiful Magazine
Home decor magazine, House Beautiful, is also showing their solidarity with the Black community in these times. The magazine is currently using its print and online platforms as well as social media to shine light on Black-owned businesses, and amplify the voices of Black designers. Racial discrimination within the nation’s justice system inspired House Beautiful to start conversations about discrimination within the interior design business. House Beautiful talked to 39 Black designers about their experiences, and what needs to change within the industry. You can read the full story here.
For another good read about Black designers in the interior design business, check out: 10 Ways to Be a Better Ally to Black Designers, According to the Black Interior Designers Network
We’ve all used Pinterest to plan or fantasize about our dream home, right? Pinterest is one of the most highly-used sources of inspiration for virtually creating your dream life. With over 332 million active users, Pinterest is using its platform to display Black talent, motivate users to take action, and encourage allyship. Furthermore, Pinterest CEO, Ben Silbermann, announced that the company will donate 25,000 shares of stock (valued at $500,000) and $750,000 in paid media to organizations that support racial justice and tolerance. In an effort to emphasize the importance of life over property, a $250,000 investment will also be made to help rebuild damages caused during protests.
One of the easiest ways to show your support for the #BLM movement in your everyday life is by being selective on where you decide to spend your money. How has a brand shown true commitment to communities of color and upholding of key #BLM principles ー justice, empathy, diversity and globalism? We applaud companies that are committed to adopting these principles, and hope to see this list grow sooner than later.