• April 21, 2024

Altria Donates $5 Million to Fight Racial Inequality

 Altria Donates $5 Million to Fight Racial Inequality
Photo: Tumisu from Pixabay

Altria Group is donating $5 million dollars to address systemic racism faced by black Americans and advance social and economic equity. These funds will be used to support national and local organizations working across the United States and in Altria’s operating communities, as well as provide immediate support to small businesses in the company’s communities impacted by recent vandalism. This commitment is incremental to Altria’s planned 2020 corporate giving.

“These are difficult times, and we must find ways to embrace our differences, address underlying systemic issues and move forward as a country,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s chief executive officer. “We know we don’t have all the answers, but we will learn by listening to our diverse colleagues, community members and others as we seek progress within our company and the places we call home.”

Altria will also launch a month-long employee giving campaign which will match on a two-for-one basis all employee donations. Recipient organizations will be selected by Unifi, Altria’s Black Employee Resource Group (ERG) and other ERGs. Altria also announced a company-wide paid “Day of Healing” on June 19 to allow employees time for personal reflection and healing. Altria is also voicing support for removing confederate monuments in its hometown of Richmond, Virginia, USA, once the capital of the Confederacy.

Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, dismissed Altria’s donation as “shameless hypocrisy.”

“With its announcement today of a $5 million donation to African-American organizations, Marlboro-maker Altria is once again trying to divert attention away from the enormous harm it has done and continues to do to the health of African Americans with the targeted, decades-long marketing of menthol cigarettes,” he stated.