Since the June 2020 launch of its Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED) initiative until January 2022, Foot locker has invested near $54 million in programs designed to improve educational and economic opportunities for black people. The Initiative as a whole represents a $200 million commitment that includes expanding programs for Black students and employees and operationalizing Foot Locker’s approach to elevating and working with Black vendors, community nonprofits, creators and service partners professionals.
“Our commitment to the black community goes beyond words and is part of the way we do business,” said Richard Johnson, president and CEO of Foot Locker Inc. in a statement. “Through strategic investments, community partnerships and empowering opportunities, we are taking concrete steps to bring about meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.”
Retailer investments include:
- More … than $17 million invested in black-owned brands to diversify its assortment. Brands including Pro Standard, Don C, Abeille Creations, Grady Baby Company & Apparel and Suburban Clan have been invited to join the Foot Locker ecosystem;
- $21 million at Seven Black-led venture capital firms;
- More … than $10.8 million for partnerships with Black-owned vendors for key services and supplies, including marketing, public relations, IT, general construction, architecture, site engineering, store fittings, maintenance and events;
- Training of 160 creations with the Designing with Sole initiative, a global intensive design program built in partnership with Pensole and New Balance that creates opportunities for underrepresented voices in the footwear industry;
- Award 25 community organizations between $20,000 and $100,000 each through the Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program; and
- Extend support to UNCFincreasing scholarships for black students.
Internally, Foot Locker has supported its Black team members with:
- The addition of ten scholarships for its internal scholarship program;
- The creation of a bridging internship program that creates bridging into head office roles for store associates. Since 2021, the program has expanded globally and provided more than 70 associates with internship positions in various departments of the company;
- A financial literacy program in partnership with the Society for Financial Educational and Professional Development; and
- Ongoing Support for Foot Locker Official BUILD Employee Resource Group (Blacks United in Leadership and Development), serving African American, Black, African and Caribbean employees in the service of amplifying and advocating for a more equitable and sustainable black work experience and access to stronger career development opportunities.