George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are among the many names burned into our consciousness. And there are countless other names of people who are black and other minorities who have also suffered injustice whose names we do not know.
As I shared in my last message, recent events have only shed further light on ongoing horrific acts of racial discrimination and intolerance. A world where our family, friends, neighbors – and many of our own Kellogg employees – are at greater risk simply because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or other factors that make them unique.
We must fight the scourge of racism and discrimination at the same time we are battling the health and economic impact of COVID-19, which has also disproportionately impacted the black community.
Core to our K Values is the belief that we will show respect for and value all individuals for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, styles, approaches and ideas. How are we striving to create an environment where individuals of all backgrounds, capabilities and beliefs are treated with dignity and respect at Kellogg?
In recent days, this has included ensuring our employees have the support they need at this critical time – whether it’s checking in on each other or showing our colleagues some grace as we all work to make sense of the senseless. We’re creating an open dialogue where employees can and are speaking freely. Hopefully, you are taking an active part in these conversations – even when you are struggling as I sometimes do to find the right words to say. You have my commitment that we will continue to do that.
Kellogg North American employees are invited to participate on Monday, June 8, in a town hall: “Healing & Hope – Addressing our Nation’s Racial Tensions.” It will be hosted by me and KNA President Chris Hood and facilitated by Dr. Todd Jenkins, a renowned facilitator, coach and speaker who is well-known to many at Kellogg for his outstanding work and previous visits to our company.
We are also looking at what other actions Kellogg Company needs to take to do better and to make progress.
As a company with heart and soul – we know there is more we can also do outside our Kellogg family to help end discrimination and intolerance.
That’s why Kellogg Company and our Kellogg Company Fund are committing an additional $1 million to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to support the important work they are doing for racial justice. We support their efforts to create a society in which all individuals have equal rights without racial discrimination.
Kellogg is a long-standing partner and funder of NAACP. In addition to other contributions we have made to the NAACP, we have sponsored and funded the Law Fellow Program since its inception in 2003. The program gives law students first-hand exposure to civil rights advocacy and many other facets of the legal profession. Kellogg brings these students in each summer to help train the next generation of people on the front lines fighting injustice. Kellogg Company Fund provided $100,000 to support this program earlier this year, and while we won’t be able to bring the students into our offices this year, we will be conducting the program virtually.
Our support – both of the Law Fellow Program and our latest donation– is just one small way we can help individuals, families and communities torn apart by racial injustice.
Kellogg Company’s $1 million grant complements the funding that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provides to NAACP, including $1.15 million in 2020. NAACP is one of the many racial equity anchor organizations that WKKF supports. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), is a legally separate entity. WKKF receives its income primarily from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust, and the Trust is Kellogg Company’s largest shareowner.
To learn more about the mission of NAACP and provide support, visit www.naacp.org. You can also donate your Achievers points to NAACP or other non-profit organizations that are meaningful to you.
We will continue to look for opportunities to advocate and make a difference on this critical issue to our society. Please continue to stay safe, to be sensitive to the plights of those around us, and to support one another.