By Richard Pinnock
Sr. Manager, Diversity & Inclusion
I believe we’re at a critical moment in our country’s history. In 2020, we witnessed many horrible events, including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. This fanned the flames of racial unrest in the USA and all around the world, including Canada.
The moment got us to start thinking about the gaps that exist in our own country. We pride ourselves in being one of the world’s most diverse countries; but we need to think deeply about how all Canadians are accessing resources and opportunities to reach their full potential. Are we being fair and equitable?
These conversations can’t just happen on social media. They need to happen where decisions are made, too.
February, we celebrate 25 years since The Honourable Jean Augustine had the foresight to provide Canada with the important designation of February as Black History Month, creating an historical anchor for generations of historians to follow.
As the Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, I am proud that Walmart Canada will be hosting and participating in a number of events including: “Black History Matters”, a fireside chat with The Honourable Jean Augustine and Nabeela Ixtabalan, Walmart Canada’s EVP of People and Corporate Affairs on Feb. 12. Other events include “Lean Conversations” a Walmart US field speaker series featuring Walmart Canada’s Felicity Tyson, a Market Leader, on Feb. 24.
Culture, diversity, equity and inclusion (CDEI) are a core part of Walmart Canada’s DNA. We consider it an extension of our core beliefs, which guide our attitudes and actions every day. Always.
We are also very honoured Canadians regard Walmart as the country’s biggest champion of diversity and inclusion, according to a recent survey conducted by Solutions Research Group’s Diversity & Inclusion Monitor.
For the past 25 years, we have been celebrating the accomplishments of legendary Black Canadians like Viola Desmond, Lincoln Alexander, Donovan Bailey, Jully Black, Senator Anne Cools, The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and of course Harriet Tubman. Who will lead the charge for the next 25 years?
Most of all, Black History Month reminds me that as a parent I have to continue to encourage my two daughters, who are just embarking on their life journeys, to continue to always encourage others to strive for fairness and equality. Our children will be the ones who figure out how to unleash the untapped potential of our diverse country.
In celebration of Black History Month, let’s pay tribute to the extraordinary contributions of Black Canadians, past and present. Let’s foster important conversations this month and all year round because when we’re judged by historians 25 years from now – we all want to be proud.