Center for Racial Equity

As part of Walmart’s larger efforts to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years through a new Center for Racial Equity.

The center’s initiatives will fund research, advocacy, innovation of practices and tools, stakeholder convening and non-profit capacity building. The center will particularly focus on eradicating systematic disparities experienced by Black and African American communities in the United States.

Focus Areas

While the work is still being shaped, the initial design includes a focus on four systems:
Financial System

Financial System: identifying initiatives that will help create greater opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

Healthcare

Healthcare: exploring ways to provide greater accessibility to better health and wellness in order to reduce health disparities in underserved and racially diverse communities.

Education

Education: working to strengthen diverse talent pipelines and build systems for equitable access to and advancement in the workforce.

Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice: supporting community-based crime prevention and developing systems to support formerly incarcerated applicants to re-enter the workforce.

The center seeks to complement and extend the societal impact of Walmart business initiatives to advance racial equity within these same four systems. Walmart will find the areas where Walmart’s core business can help change society’s systems that perpetuate racism and discrimination. This is in addition to the work Walmart will do to build a more inclusive company The center will provide subject matter expertise to the corporate workstreams, and the philanthropy will be done in a way that complements the corporate work in order to accelerate systems change.

The work of the center will extend the overarching philanthropic work of Walmart.org, which seeks to embed equity into all our investment portfolios. We will seek to transform philanthropy by shifting power, privilege and access to resources to more equitably fund nonprofits led by people of color, specifically Black and African American leaders, and to encourage greater diversity at predominantly white nonprofits.

Walmart has recently named Kirstie Sims, Senior Director to lead the center, and as we shape the center’s vision and direction, we’re listening to the experts, our grantees, leading organizations and others to gain a better understanding of the issues.

Through our work across the business and the center, and in continued collaboration with our partners, we believe we can identify key systemic challenges and work to be an active part of the solution. We anticipate announcing the first round of grants by the end of Q4 FY21 and look forward to sharing updates as our work continues.