Foot Locker Inc. released a statement on Monday (Aug 1) claiming they invested $54 million to Black-owned businesses and Black charities. The company says the spending began in June 2020 when major companies publicly pledged to invest in the Black community in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The athletic retailer announced its plans to donate $200 million over the next five years through its own initiatives.
The Leading Education Development Initiative (LEED) was established in 2020 and reflects the company’s commitment to “invest in, amplify, and empower the Black community that has been pivotal in shaping sneaker culture,” per the official website. LEED’s goal is to provide expansion of programming for Black students through scholarships, internships, and economic development like financial literacy, grants, and more. Professional service partners, Black vendors, and non-profit community organizations benefited from the initiative.
Since the June 2020 announcement, Foot Locker has donated more than $17 million to Black-owned brands, invested $10.8 million into partnerships with Black-owned vendors, trained over 100 future creatives via the Designing with Sole initiative, and increased scholarships to Black students. The company also has an internal scholarship program offered to its Black team members.
LISC CEO Lisa Glover said in a statement earlier this year, “In establishing this program, Foot Locker, Inc. has recognized the ongoing impact of systemic racism, prioritized the needs of teens and young adults, and committed capital to on-the-ground strategies that directly address the local challenges. We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement in these important issues.” Glover stated, “The past few years have been difficult for young people — particularly in Black and Brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.”
Chairman and CEO of Foot Locker, INC. Richard Johnson said in a statement, “Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business. Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and empowering opportunities, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change within our organization and the communities we serve.”