Washington – Today on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, Business Roundtable observed the tragedy and reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to push for bipartisan policing reform legislation.
“Today marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. The pain, anger and outrage it sparked throughout our country and around the world—from people of all races and colors—focused everyone’s attention in a way that hadn’t happened for a long time. As business leaders, we shared these feelings and stepped up our efforts to combat injustice and racial inequities that exist in our country,” said Business Roundtable Chairman Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Walmart. “Among our efforts, last summer Business Roundtable established a Special Committee on Racial Equity and Justice that released a set of recommendations to promote bipartisan consensus on policing reform. It signaled that corporate America cannot and will not sit this issue out. Business Roundtable CEOs stand with the millions of Americans who want significant policing reform signed into law. We are encouraged by ongoing bipartisan negotiations and are committed to working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to help achieve agreement on bipartisan legislation.”
“We support the ongoing bipartisan negotiations and applaud Senators Scott and Booker and Representative Bass for their continued efforts to reach a deal. While there is good faith disagreement on some issues, we also believe there is common ground on issues like transparency, standards and training and room for bipartisan agreement on tougher issues,” said Business Roundtable President & CEO Joshua Bolten. “Business Roundtable and our members will do all we can to work with lawmakers to advance bipartisan policing reform. While some progress has been made, more must be done toward our long-term goal of addressing the racial wealth gap.”
In October, after extensive CEO and member company engagement with more than 100 experts, the Roundtable released a report with policy recommendations and corporate actions to advance racial equity and justice by addressing the racial wealth gap. In the past seven months, companies have begun to make progress by:
- Increasing transparency on corporate diversity through voluntary public disclosure metrics, including hiring and leadership;
- Reforming their hiring and advancement practices and improving equity and diversity through efforts like the Multiple Pathways Initiative;
- Improving access to employment and advancement for individuals with a criminal record through the Second Chance Business Coalition;
- Working to identify employee health benefit practices that may reduce racial health disparities for employees through the Health Equity Benefit Evaluation Initiative; and
- Deepening efforts to learn from and listen to employees, customers and communities about how to be an ally for racial equity and justice.
In addition, Business Roundtable companies have contributed over $1.8 billion in grants and low-cost debt to CDFIs that are Black or Latino-led and/or serving Black or Latino communities, surpassing an organization-wide goal of $1 billion by 2025. Companies have also invested $5.7 billion in minority-owned small businesses; contributed $465 million to provide vetted Black-led and Latino-led MDIs with capital and deposits, with an organization-wide goal of $600 million by 2025; and have committed $19.2 billion toward producing and preserving affordable housing, with a Roundtable-wide goal of $30 billion.
To date, Business Roundtable members have committed over $50.8 billion toward addressing racial inequities. Of that total, Roundtable members have committed over $27.4 billion toward the organization’s racial equity and justice initiatives. They have gone beyond by committing to provide over $628 million to HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions and educational initiatives and over $22.7 billion to support racial equity and justice initiatives and organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and National Urban League. The work continues.
For more information on the Business Roundtable racial equity and justice initiatives, visit businessroundtable.org/equity. For more on Roundtable policing efforts, visit businessroundtable.org/policereform.
*A previous version of this release cited a $466 million commitment to MDIs. The number has been revised to $465 million.