MISSISSAUGA, ON - February 10, 2022 – Walmart Canada and the Walmart Foundation are awarding more than $3.5 million in grants to seven Canadian organizations supporting Indigenous and Black communities in Canada in education, career advancement, food security and health.
The investments are part of Walmart Canada and the Walmart Foundation's collaborative efforts to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change.
Walmart Canada is committed to helping build a more inclusive world by using its assets to empower a network – beyond Walmart stores - – to support Indigenous and Black communities where they need it most - to empower and uplift them.
The grants are the first round of funding from the Walmart Foundation’s $20 million USD commitment over five years to advance equity for Black and Indigenous communities in Canada through food security and economic opportunity. Funding is focused on initiatives that strengthen food systems and create equitable advancement and pathways of opportunity for Black and Indigenous communities in Canada.
"As part of our strategy to become a regenerative company we are advocating and driving systemic change to build more inclusive communities across Canada," said Nabeela Ixtabalan, Executive Vice President People and Corporate Affairs, Walmart Canada. "We will use our size and scale to make an impact towards a more just and equitable society across Canada"
From the Walmart Foundation:
- Information and Communications Technology Council ($500,000 USD): conducting research to help understand gaps that Black and Indigenous communities face in job mobility and career advancement in Canada’s economy.
- NPower Canada ($500,000 USD): leveraging learning hubs to expand impact and reach to underserved populations, particularly in Black and Indigenous communities and reskilling the adult learners for the future of work through its ReNew Tech Reskilling pilot program.
- Food Banks Canada ($599,250 USD): improving culturally appropriate understanding in the charitable food system through a research initiative that centres racialized and Indigenous people’s voices to better understand the landscape, challenges and barriers for those living with food insecurity.
- Community Foundations of Canada ($1,050,000): Supports the Indigenous Peoples Resilience Fund for Indigenous-led organizations and efforts to advance food security, food sovereignty and food justice.
Additionally, Walmart Canada announced further investments to support Black and Indigenous communities:
- Women’s College Hospital Foundation ($150,000): This grant will establish the Walmart Canada Equitable Futures in Healthcare Award for a leading researcher supporting Black communities through the Emily Stowe Society at Women’s College Hospital.
- York University ($75,000): Supports Dr. Jean Augustine’s, Chair in Education, Student Research and Support Initiative that will help address the low post-secondary graduation rates of Black Students in Canadian Universities.
- Indspire ($50,000): Education and support for adult learners in the Indigenous Community – Building Brighter Futures program.
These philanthropic grants complement the work of Walmart Canada’s three Shared Value Networks as part of its Live Better equity strategy to leverage its business strengths to advance equity across the Canadian landscape – Education & Employment, Health & Well-Being, and Supplier Diversity Procurement. These efforts are based on Walmart Canada's shared value approach, focused on creating value for the business, customers, and society by building Opportunities for All.
Dr. Carl James, Chair, The Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora.
“Support for the Jean Augustine Chair enables us to have the many programs and initiatives that aim to address the educational, employment, career, and social needs, interests, and ambitions of Black community members – particularly K to 12 and postsecondary education students. Doing so helps to change their trajectories through all levels of the education system thereby changing their graduation rates and social outcomes. Thank you to Walmart for supporting this important and critical work.”
Jennifer Bernard, President and CEO of Women’s College Hospital Foundation.
“We are so grateful to Walmart Canada for their generous donation to Women’s College Hospital Foundation, which will help improve mental healthcare quality and access for underserved Black communities in Ontario. This gift will directly support the work of Dr. Crystal Clark. Dr. Clark is renowned clinician, researcher, and educator who aims to optimize maternal mental health treatment. She specializes in mood and anxiety disorders and is recognized for her expertise in the treatment of women’s mental health across the reproductive life span.”
Kirstin Beardsley CEO of Food Banks Canada.
“Food Banks Canada is appreciative of Walmart Foundation's on-going investment in food insecurity initiatives in Canada. Building on their previous commitment, this grant will enable us to build new partnerships and carry out an important research initiative led by people with lived experience, to understand the unique barriers and challenges of those living with food insecurity, including racialized communities. Our vision of a Canada where no one goes hungry must include everyone.”
Wanda Brascoupe and Victoria Grant, Indigenous Peoples’ Resilience Fund (IPRF)
“At this moment, when many communities are struggling, IPRF acknowledges and witnesses the resilience and abundance within Indigenous communities. We are grateful to Walmart Foundation in supporting us in our development and continuous seeding of Indigenous food sovereignty.”
Alexandra Cutean, Chief Research Officer, Information and Communications Technology Council
“A diverse and inclusive labour market is core to Canada’s economic recovery, long-term prosperity, and social well-being. ICTC is thrilled to conduct critical research that uncovers challenges, gaps, and opportunities facing Black and Indigenous communities in Canada on the job mobility and career advancement pathway. Today's announcement builds on business and philanthropic initiatives the company has been undertaking for over a decade in Canada and around the world to eliminate waste and relieve hunger.
About Walmart Canada Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide serving 1.5 million customers each day. Walmart Canada's flagship online store, Walmart.ca is visited by more than 1.5 million customers daily. With more than 100,000 associates, Walmart Canada is one of Canada's largest employers and is ranked one of the country's top 10 most influential brands. Walmart Canada was recently recognized as a LinkedIn Top Company of 2021 and was also named one of Canada's most popular brands (based on Google searches). Walmart Canada's extensive philanthropy program is focused on supporting Canadian families in need, and since 1994 Walmart Canada has raised and donated more than $500 million to Canadian charities. Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.ca and on Walmart Canada's social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Philanthropy at Walmart Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By focusing where the business has unique strengths, Walmart.org works to tackle key social and environmental issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change.