Mississauga, ON, June 9, 2021—The Walmart Foundation and Walmart Canada are announcing new initiatives as part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation's efforts to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change.
The Walmart Foundation is announcing a commitment of USD $20 million over five years to advance equity for Black and Indigenous Canadians through food security and economic opportunity. The funding will support initiatives that strengthen food systems and create equitable advancement and pathways of opportunity for Black and Indigenous Canadians.
Walmart Canada is leveraging its business strengths to advance equity. These efforts are based on Walmart's shared value approach, which means they not only benefit the business, but also create shared value for customers and society. The company has established three Shared Value Networks to leverage its size and scale across the Canadian landscape – Education & Employment, Health & Well-Being and Supplier Diversity Procurement – as part of its new Live Better equity strategy.
“We’re stronger as a company and a country when everyone is included and empowered. At Walmart Canada, diversity, equity and inclusion is not just an initiative, it’s part of our DNA,” said Horacio Barbeito, President and CEO, Walmart Canada. “These new partnerships and investments will make a difference in many marginalized communities across Canada. We have a responsibility to make a difference and make a meaningful, lasting difference in racial justice across Canada.”
Additionally, Walmart Canada has established a more robust outreach, sponsorship and collaboration program with many new not-for-profit organizations focused on creating opportunities for development and employment in the Black and Indigenous community, including:
• Signing the Black North Initiative - partnering to eliminate anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians
• Signing the Federal Governments 50:30 Challenge - increasing the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table
• Donation to the Women’s College Hospital - supporting research on improved access to healthcare for Black Women
• Sponsoring Indigenous Works - supporting advancement of Indigenous People and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Call to Action
• Joining the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) - supporting the creation of new pathways and transformational opportunities for Canada's Black Community, Indigenous Peoples and People of Colour
• Establishing a new partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion
“We want to do nothing short of creating the most diverse and inclusive organization in Canada. We need to do more to advocate and drive 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.”
"The Walmart Foundation is striving to transform systems to help create more equitable opportunities for all," said Kathleen McLaughlin, President of the Walmart Foundation. “Our commitment extends the societal impact of Walmart Canada's business initiatives and aims to drive change in the systems of food security and economic opportunity to advance equity for Black and Indigenous Canadians."
“It is very promising to see global corporations like Walmart Canada step up and commit to creating and nurturing Black talent pipelines in Canada,” said Wes Hall, Founder and Chairman of the BlackNorth Initiative. “In addition to being morally imperative, diversity and inclusion strategies ensure that employees are empowered and participate in the business to their fullest potential and Walmart is championing this approach.”
“As a diverse group of senior leaders committed to helping end anti-black and systemic racism in the innovation economy, the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) recognizes that it is only together, that we can build and measure sustainable change for an inclusive future. We are so pleased to welcome Walmart Canada to CILAR,” said Serena Nguyen, Executive Director, CILAR.
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.
This commitment is in addition to Walmart's investment of business and philanthropic resources to increase fairness, equity and justice in aspects of everyday life. In June 2020, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years through the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity, which is focused on addressing the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerating change in the U.S.
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 900,000 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.