These Companies Are Taking A Stand Against Racism Amid Nationwide Protests
In the midst of powerful, impassioned protests happening across the United States and beyond, a slew of companies have taken a stand against racism and voiced their support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
After a 46-year-old Black man named George Floyd was killed in police custody in Minneapolis, protests against racism and police brutality erupted in cities all around the United States and have since spread to more countries around the world. Floyd's death on May 25 marked yet another story of law enforcement killing Black people. In February, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot by two white men, one of whom was a former police officer, while jogging in Georgia. In March, 26-year-old emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor was sleeping in her apartment when she was shot and killed by police in Kentucky. According to data compiled by Mapping Police Violence, 1,099 people were killed by police in 2019, with Black people accounting for 24% of those killed "despite being only 13% of the population."
"Enough is enough. Our pain, our cries, and our need to be seen and heard resonate throughout this entire country," Black Lives Matter, the global movement campaigning against violence and systemic racism inflicted on Black communities, wrote on May 30. "We demand acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police. We call for radical, sustainable solutions that affirm the prosperity of Black lives."
Along with the masses of individuals speaking out in support of Black Lives Matter and denouncing racism, a growing number of companies have issued statements standing solidarity with the movement. Among those that have shared their support are big name companies that families with young children are likely familiar with — these are just a few.
On Sunday, the animation studio behind Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and more shared a message of support to its official Twitter page. "We stand against racism," Pixar tweeted. "We stand for inclusion. We stand with our fellow Black employees, storytellers, creators, and the entire Black community. We must unite and speak out."
Disney shared the same message as Pixar on its Twitter page on Sunday. Additionally, Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Disney Chairman Bob Iger, and Chief Diversity Officer Latondra Newton issued a memo to employees that promised the company would step up their inclusion efforts, "to ensure we are fostering a culture that acknowledges our people's feelings and their pain."
"We also realize that now more than ever is the time for us all to further strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion everywhere," the memo read. "We intend to focus our efforts and resources to compassionately and constructively talk about these matters openly and honestly as we seek solutions. We intend to keep the conversation going, not just today, but for as long as it takes to bring about real change."
Sesame Street positioned itself firmly on the side of inclusion with a statement issued to its Twitter on Monday.
"Racism has no place on our Street — or on any street," the tweet said. "Sesame Street was built on diversity, inclusion, and, especially, kindness. Today and every day we stand together with our Black colleagues, partners, collaborators and the entire Black community. We stand with our friends around the globe to speak out against racism, to promote understanding, and to create a world that is smarter, stronger, and kinder. "
The Minneapolis Target was the subject of vandalism and destruction during protests last week. In response to the demonstrations, Target CEO Brian Cornell issued a statement that "vowed to face pain with purpose."
"We are a community in pain," the statement reads. "That pain is not unique to the Twin Cities — it extends across America. The murder of George Floyd has unleashed the pent-up pain of years, as have the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. We say their names and hold a too-long list of others in our hearts. As a Target team, we’ve huddled, we’ve consoled, we’ve witnessed horrific scenes similar to what’s playing out now and wept that not enough is changing. And as a team we’ve vowed to face pain with purpose."
Similarly, Amazon tweeted its call for the end of racism and brutality against Black people in America.
"The inequitable and brutal treatment of Black people in our country must stop," the tweet said. "Together we stand in solidarity with the Black community — our employees, customers, and partners — in the fight against systematic racism and injustice."
In a tweet on May 29, YouTube said they "stand in solidarity against racism and violence."
"When members of our community hurt, we all hurt," YouTube wrote on Twitter. "We’re pledging $1M in support of efforts to address social injustice."