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30 Jun 2020

Richard Feloni & Yusuf George, JUST Capital

Commentary: These are the corporate responses to the George Floyd protests that stand out

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This has been the first time that companies have embraced the Black Lives Matter movement en masse... A survey from JUST found that the large majority of Americans either somewhat favored or strongly favored CEOs responding to the protests with a statement about ending police violence (84%), promoting peaceful protest (84%), elevating diversity and inclusion in the workplace (78%), condemning racial inequity (75%), and condemning police killings of unarmed Black people (73%)... Campaign Zero cofounder DeRay Mckesson...[said] that while he found some businesses’ responses to the Floyd protests “lazy” and wanted to see lasting action, he said that some of these statements have helped take away the sensationalism around something he finds isn’t sensational, i.e. fighting against systemic racism and for police reform.

... Bank of America announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment to strengthen economic opportunities in communities of color... PepsiCo also announced a five-year, $400 million initiative that includes the goal of increasing Black managerial representation by 30% and more than doubling business with Black-owned suppliers... Ben and Jerry’s, a Unilever brand, committed itself to supporting the fight against systemic racism, including through the advocacy of a bill investigating slavery reparations and a bipartisan task force into police reform – on top of its continued financial and advocacy support of Black Lives Matter and criminal justice reform... Netflix announced on June 30th that the company would start putting 2% of its cash holdings into financial institutions and organizations to “directly support Black communities in the U.S.”