top of page

Corporate America's Commitment

Four years ago today as many Americans were preparing to celebrate Memorial Day, a Black American named George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in broad daylight. The murder itself was live-streamed on social media by onlookers and passersby. The officer, with his hands, in his pockets, kneeled on the upper torso and neck of George Floyd, slowly pressing the life out of this human being.

The murder of George Floyd ignited a firestorm of protests and underscored the need for a dramatic change in race relations in America and around the world. Many American corporations made commitments to help drive that change. Sadly, conservative efforts to thwart change and progress have gained traction in forcing colleges and universities to rollback attempts at diversifying their enrollment, remove ”critical race theory” from their curriculums and threatening attempts to level the playing field in business.

After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Corporate America made significant public commitments to advancing racial equity and addressing systemic racism. Many companies pledged substantial financial contributions to social justice organizations, community development initiatives, and programs aimed at supporting black-owned businesses. High-profile firms established dedicated funds, often amounting to millions or even billions of dollars, to promote economic empowerment in Black communities. Additionally, corporations undertook internal reviews of their practices and policies, aiming to increase diversity and inclusion within their ranks. This included setting specific targets for hiring, promoting, and retaining employees from underrepresented groups and investing in training programs focused on unconscious bias and cultural competency.

Beyond financial commitments, many corporations also leveraged their influence to advocate for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. They issued statements condemning racial injustice and supported legislative reforms aimed at tackling police brutality and improving social equity. Some companies reevaluated their supplier diversity programs to ensure they were supporting minority-owned businesses and reassessed their corporate governance structures to include more diverse leadership. While these commitments marked a significant step toward addressing racial disparities, the real impact of these initiatives is contingent on sustained action and accountability, as the initial promises must translate into long-term systemic change.

During Financial Literacy Month we must understand that the wealth we do not have is due to the many years of systemic oppression and many ways how the system has and still has it's "knee on our neck".

If we do not hold major corporations and elected officials accountable we may very well lose the very little progress we have made. And we will miss the opportunity to uphold the legacy of George Floyd.

It's our time!


4 views0 comments


bottom of page