Center For Racial Equity

Center for Racial Equity Grants

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Walmart and the Walmart Foundation pledged to contribute $100 million over five years through the Center for Racial Equity to help address racial disparities in the U.S. in June 2020.

The center’s initiatives will fund research, advocacy, innovation of practices and tools, stakeholder convening and nonprofit capacity building with a focus on finance, health, education, criminal justice and racial solidarity. Read below for more details and information about our grant recipients.


Ghetto Film School – A Walmart grant to Ghetto Film School (GFS) creates a new national training program in which GFS students will train Black businesses in retail in the art of storytelling. GFS is partnering with WOCstar Capital, an investment fund focused on women of color, to help the entrepreneurs secure financial capital using the marketing skills they will develop through the program. The program aims to increase business owners' confidence, capacity building and venture capital readiness.

Fearless Foundation - The Fearless Foundation received a grant from Walmart in support of its inaugural Fearless Venture Capital Week—a week of free financial education and empowerment sessions. Attendees took part in informative workshops and discussions around building wealth within the Black family and the importance of bridging the generational wealth gap. Fearless Foundation also used a portion of the grant to support a business pitch competition during the event and HBCU scholarships.

SEED SPOT – Walmart’s support of SEED SPOT, a business accelerator, will provide training to Black-owned businesses in North Carolina on core skills retail providers need – including marketing, pricing, and supply chain management. SEED SPOT will leverage their entrepreneurship support programming to deliver a total of four intensive retail accelerator programs for up to 60 Black-owned businesses in North Carolina. For this initiative, SEED SPOT is partnering with Black Dollar Corp, a Black-owned platform that provides commission-free retail space, to increase participants’ readiness, earnings, profitability, and visibility.

SoGal Foundation – A Walmart Foundation grant to SoGal Foundation will launch a new training program to help Black entrepreneurs connect to capital. SoGal Foundation will establish a Black Founder Retail Catalyst Fellowship program for 60 Black female and non-binary business-owners to access capital, mentorship, and a network of peers in the retail industry. The goal is for participants to improve product offerings, maximize sales and marketing, grow their businesses and gain mentors and investor connections.

Tulsa Community Foundation - As the fiscal sponsor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, Tulsa Community Foundation received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to support the Commission’s Economic Empowerment Day (EED) and Greenwood Rising economic development community programming. With a focus on addressing disparities for Black business owners, investors, and individuals, EED was the Commission’s premier event for Black economic empowerment, taking the lessons from the past and accelerating the path forward towards economic justice for all. The Commission also created a world-class history facility, Greenwood Rising, to showcase Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District.

Washington Area Community Investment Fund – A Walmart grant to the Washington Area Community Investment Fund will support a pipeline of beauty entrepreneurs in the Washington, D.C. area through a business accelerator program. With the help of Shea Yeleen, WACIF will stand up a beauty makerspace to strengthen independent beauty brands and remove barriers to entry for small batch manufacturers by providing access to the tools necessary for production. Through this grant, WAICF will advise underserved entrepreneurs and deploy flexible capital to Black-owned beauty brands working to scale their businesses.

Winrock InternationalWinrock International received a grant from Walmart to provide business development support to Black-owned e-commerce and wholesale retail enterprises in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Readying Small Business for Access to Capital program will serve 200 Black-owned businesses across the region, educating business owners on resources available to them and helping ensure they receive the assistance needed to sustain and grow their businesses.

Women’s Business Enterprise National Council - A Walmart grant to Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) supports WBENC’s Women of Color Outreach & Development Programs. Through this program, WBENC provides education, resources and access to peer and mentor networks for both certified and non-certified women of color businesses to overcome identified barriers to their growth and to scale. Walmart is a founding sponsor of the WBENC Women of Color program.

Echoing Green (EG) - Echoing Green is an organization that develops diverse future global leaders in social innovation; invests in seed funding and providing support to their emerging social enterprises; and builds leadership capacity through a renowned, competitive fellowship program. The Walmart Foundation’s investment in support of Echoing Green’s Racial Equity Philanthropic Fund will help support social entrepreneurs in communities across the U.S. to grow the organizations they lead and to advance their work to address issues related to racial equity.


The University of Texas Foundation – The Walmart Foundation provided a grant to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Be Well Communities initiative in the Acres Homes neighborhood in Houston, Texas – a 47% Black and 43% Hispanic community where MD Anderson works on strategies to prevent cancer. This investment supports sustainable, neighborhood-based food solutions as part of the Be Well Communities initiative. Through this grant, we aim to learn how similar investments in communities could work.

Community Services Unlimited – The Walmart Foundation supported Community Services Unlimited’s EFOD Collaborative and Fund, which will use Equitable Food Oriented Development (EFOD), a food system strategy emerging from and focused on historically marginalized communities. EFOD projects build food and agriculture projects to create both community-owned business opportunities and healthy food systems. These projects are rooted in the neighborhoods they serve, use principles of community organizing and offer solutions that reflect the community’s cultural identity.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation – A Walmart Foundation grant helps Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provide capacity-building grants to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-led grassroots organizations expanding access to healthy food in communities in the rural Southeast with low food access. LISC will support the organizations as they build or strengthen their programs and forge partnerships in their communities.

Reinvestment Fund – The Walmart Foundation provided a grant to the Reinvestment Fund (RF) to focus on Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi – regions facing high levels of food insecurity – and research the current state of funding for food systems in the area. Working with community-based partners, RF will provide grants that build capacity for small- and mid-sized food organizations to grow their businesses and expand access to food in their communities.

American Heart Association (AHA), Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund - AHA’s Bernard J. Tyson Impact Fund is an initiative to improve health equity by supporting community-driven entrepreneurial solutions addressing social determinants of health. The first round of funding from the Walmart Foundation went to 12 minority and/or women-led community-based organizations and entrepreneurs in Atlanta and Chicago who are working to increase access to affordable and healthy food in communities of color.

U.S. Vaccine Adoption Grants - The Walmart Foundation has provided grants to the following organizations that are working on interventions in and with diverse communities around the United States to increase education, outreach and awareness of COVID-19 vaccines:


Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies - The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank dedicated to research and advocacy to equip Black and African Americans with the skills needed to thrive in the evolving economy, will conduct research on the barriers and gaps that exist for Black and African Americans when accessing education and training for economic advancement. With a grant from Walmart, the Joint Center will build a community of practice to bring together Black experts and Black-led organizations involved in workforce policy to develop a policy framework focused on the needs of Black and African American job seekers.

1890 Universities Foundation - Walmart provided a grant to the 1890 Universities Foundation, which works to mobilize resources to support the 19 land-grant universities. The 1890 Universities Foundation will help support technical assistance and innovation across all 19 land-grant institutions and also build capacity for a new Center of Excellence for Nutrition, Health, Wellness and Quality of Life to help prepare future health professionals focused on underserved communities and health disparities. The grant will also support a broadband and IT needs assessment across the land-grant universities to identify disparities in technology access.

CodePath - Building on previous Walmart investments in CodePath, which aims to increase diversity in tech by transforming college computer science education for underrepresented students, a Walmart grant will help CodePath expand its program. CodePath will work with the 1890 Universities Foundation to serve more historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with an initial expansion to five of the 19 universities. Walmart’s investment will also help CodePath expand its courses that provide mentorship, resume support and technical interview practice to computer science students. CodePath will also increase opportunities for pre-internship opportunities that equip rising college juniors with the work experience needed to advance their careers.

Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) - SFI’s mission is to provide alternative financing for historically Black college and university (HBCU) juniors and seniors majoring in STEM to help reduce their student loans/debt. The Walmart Foundation’s investment will support the operating costs associated with the planning and launch of SFI with an initial cohort in the fall 2021 academic year.

Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) – A grant from Walmart enables Harlem Children’s Zone to operationalize The Take on Race Coalition’s 1 Million Connected Devices Initiative. The investment provides 1,250 low-income students with remote learning equipment and internet access and resources to HCZ for policy work that will support sustainable solutions to the digital divide.

Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center) - The Walmart Foundation’s grant will help support two impactful programs of The King Center, including Nonviolent 365 ® Education & Training, a program designed to help participants understand and apply their lives to Dr. King’s six steps and principles of nonviolence, as well as the Camp NOW Leadership Academy, a multi-year program that helps low-income youths ages 13-19 experience and prepare for academic and career success.

Criminal Justice

First Chance Hiring Network – A Walmart grant to the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice (RBIJ) creates the Unlock Potential program, an employment program that aims to provide career opportunities for young people at high risk of criminal justice involvement. The program focuses on 4.4 million “opportunity youth” in the U.S. – young people who are not working or in school, and more likely to experience poverty and incarceration. A Walmart grant to Persevere supports Unlock Potential with a national institute made up of experts, practitioners and advocates using a data-driven approach to help employers effectively hire and support opportunity youth at risk of criminal justice involvement with meaningful, long-term career opportunities.

The Criminal Justice Reform Prevention Research Network – A Walmart Foundation grant is helping the University of Southern California Race & Equity Center launch a prevention-focused criminal justice reform national research network with a racial equity lens. This network will convene racial equity scholars and create a research agenda for prevention efforts. To expand this network, Walmart provided a grant to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law to enable the collection of reliable criminal justice data in Arkansas. This marks the first place-based investment aimed at strengthening the research network.

The National Offices of Violence Prevention Network – A grant from the Walmart Foundation will help the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) build capacity across 30 cities in its National Offices of Violence Prevention (OVP) Network, a national network of local government agencies focused on violence prevention and reduction. NICJR is using a data-driven approach to build capacity for civic leaders and mayors to prevent incarceration, particularly among at-risk youth, using evidence-based programming.

The Prison Fellowship Opportunity Youth Network – Children of incarcerated parents are roughly three times more likely to become incarcerated, and one in nine Black children have at least one parent that is incarcerated. Prison Fellowship received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to build a national network of community-based organizations focused on creating positive experiences and preventing negative interactions with the criminal justice system for children with incarcerated parents. The network will expand Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program to 30 cities.

The People's Commissions on Criminal Justice Reform – UNITE's ACT NOW initiative, dedicated to the re-imagination of policing and criminal justice for the 21st Century, received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to develop a network of "People's Commissions" in 14 cities. The People's Commissions will facilitate information-sharing and research focused on preventing negative interactions with the criminal justice system and reducing racial bias in policing. ACT NOW will release a national report to share recommendations for transforming how criminal justice systems engage with communities.

Cross Cutting

Allied Media Projects – Walmart provided a grant to Allied Media Projects to support a research partnership between the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals’ (ACCP) and the Building Movement Project, in collaboration with the Decolonizing Wealth Project (DWP). The goal of the research is to support corporate social responsibility and corporate philanthropy leaders in developing strategies and programs to help boost representation in the corporate citizenship sector. Allied Media Projects is the fiscal sponsor of DWP.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) - LISC is a nonprofit with strong community partnerships that connect hard-to-tap public and private resources with underinvested places and people. Since 1980, LISC’s Chicago office has focused on equitable development, ensuring every Chicago neighborhood and its residents have the opportunity to benefit from economic transformation by building community wealth. Walmart's investment will support LISC’s Chicago Project 10X work, a strategy to greatly advance racial equity across health, wealth and opportunity.

Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) - ABFE is a national membership organization that promotes effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. The Walmart Foundation’s investment will strengthen ABFE’s capacity to coordinate people, information, investments and practices that advance racial equity.

PolicyLink - PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity. Walmart’s grant helps support the launch of the Racial Equity through Corporate Actions Initiative, which will drive the creation and adoption of corporate standards on racial equity that will be freely available to companies.

Racial Solidarity

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) – TAAF is serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander and violence. With increasing instances of violence against the AAPI community TAAF serves a critical role as a convener and funder to accelerate opportunity and fight anti-AAPI discrimination and hate. Given this critical mission, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have pledged support.

Working Together to Spark Change

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