Altria Group, Inc. has announced that it will be committing five million dollars toward addressing systemic racism faced by Black Americans, which it hopes will help advance social and economic equity. This comes as the United States has dealt with several weeks of civil unrest in response to the killing of George Floyd.
Altria’s investment will be used to support national and local organizations working across the United States and in its operating communities. It will also provide immediate support to small businesses in communities that have been impacted by recent vandalism experienced during some of the protests. According to the company in a press release, this commitment is incremental to Altria’s planned 2020 corporate giving.
“These are difficult times, and we must find ways to embrace our differences, address underlying systemic issues and move forward as a country,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s CEO. “We know we don’t have all the answers, but we will learn by listening to our diverse colleagues, community members and others as we seek progress within our company and the places we call home.”
Altria will also launch a month-long employee giving campaign that will match on a two-for-one basis all employee donations. Recipient organizations will be selected by Unifi, Altria’s Black Employee Resource Group (ERG) and other ERGs. Altria will also institute a company-wide paid “Day of Healing” on Juneteenth (June 19) to allow employees time for personal reflection and healing. Altria has also voiced its support for removing confederate monuments in its hometown of Richmond, Virginia, which once served as the capital of the Confederacy.
For all the latest news from Altria, visit altria.com.