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Walmart Canada Forms New Partnerships to Advance Race Equity

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The Walmart Foundation and Walmart Canada are implementing new initiatives to address the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change.

The Walmart Foundation is committing $20 million over five years to advance equity for Black and Indigenous Canadians through food security and economic opportunity. The funding will support initiatives that strengthen food systems and create equitable advancement and pathways of opportunity for Black and Indigenous Canadians.

Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart Canada said it is leveraging its business strengths to advance equity based on the retailer’s shared value approach, which means the strengths not only benefit the business, but also create shared value for customers and society. The company has established three Shared Value Networks to leverage its size and scale across the Canadian landscape — Education & Employment, Health & Well-Being and Supplier Diversity Procurement — as part of its new Live Better equity strategy.   

“We’re stronger as a company and a country when everyone is included and empowered. At Walmart Canada, diversity, equity and inclusion is not just an initiative, it’s part of our DNA,” said Horacio Barbeito, president and CEO of Walmart Canada. “These new partnerships and investments will make a difference in many marginalized communities across Canada. We have a responsibility to make a difference and make a meaningful, lasting difference in racial justice across Canada.”

Additionally, Walmart Canada said it has established a more robust outreach, sponsorship and collaboration program with many new not-for-profit organizations focused on creating opportunities for development and employment in the Black and Indigenous community, including:

Signing the Black North Initiative — partnering to eliminate anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians.

Signing the Federal Governments 50:30 Challenge — increasing the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within the workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table.

Donating to the Black Opportunity Fund — supporting the mission to develop and fund Black-owned business and organizations.

Donation to the Women’s College Hospital — supporting research on improved access to healthcare for Black women.

Sponsoring Indigenous Works — supporting advancement of Indigenous People and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission call to action.

Joining the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) — supporting the creation of new pathways and transformational opportunities for Canada’s Black Community, Indigenous Peoples and People of Color.

• Establishing a new partnership with the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion.

“We want to do nothing short of creating the most diverse and inclusive organization in Canada. We need to do more to advocate and drive systemic change to build more inclusive communities across Canada,” said Nabeela Ixtabalan, executive vice president for people and corporate affairs at Walmart Canada. “We will use our size and scale to make an impact towards a more just and equitable society across Canada.”

“The Walmart Foundation is striving to transform systems to help create more equitable opportunities for all,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Our commitment extends the societal impact of Walmart Canada’s business initiatives and aims to drive change in the systems of food security and economic opportunity to advance equity for Black and Indigenous Canadians.”

Walmart Canada operates a chain of more than 400 stores nationwide Additional information can be found at walmartcanada.c.

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