National events prompted by tragic injustice have had far-reaching impact this year and prompted much needed conversation, change and action. Tyson Foods is among the organizations that have taken a hard look recently at how we may further enhance equity, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
Discussions at all levels of the company have culminated in several action items from Tyson Foods leadership. One was to pause production at all our facilities on June 9 for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to mark the funeral of George Floyd.
We also committed to corporate donations totaling $5 million, given to organizations that are advancing the cause of lasting change for our society. The latest of them is Immigrant Connection, which we are proud to announce was voted a recipient by our own team members.
Immigrant Connection has been a Tyson Foods grant recipient twice before, providing low-cost, confidential services to our plant communities in Logansport, Indiana and Olathe, Kansas. They consult on immigration questions, prepare immigration forms, and give legal advice to families and individuals.
Immigrant Connection joins our other diversity and inclusion grant recipients, The Equal Justice Initiative, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The National Urban League and The Executive Leadership Council.
Justin Whitmore, executive vice president of Alternative Protein, spoke about the grants during a Tyson Foods webinar for team members. He says these donations build upon causes that align with our core values at Tyson Foods. The initial four grants were announced after the senseless and horrific killing of George Floyd, and Immigrant Connection expanded that reach to include diversity and inclusion for all ethnicities.
“Tyson Foods spends a tremendous amount of money and volunteer time around so many different causes,” he said. “What we launched is an extension of that work.”
He says supporting and working alongside these grant recipients will help Tyson Foods play a broader role in social equity.
“We picked a great slate of partners, and we’ve made a multi-year donation to signal this is not a one-time event but a series of investments and partnerships that will help us be better and help us partner with those that make the world a better place for all of us.”
The Equal Justice Initiative was founded in 1989 by public interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson to provide “legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons.” Their scope of work includes criminal justice reform, racial justice, public education and museums and memorials. Stevenson’s bestselling book, “Just Mercy,” was the subject of a feature film of the same title and released in 2019.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a Smithsonian institution in Washington, D.C., dedicated to “the documentation of African American life, history, and culture.” Founded in 2003 by an act of Congress, it provides visitors an educational experience about American history through the lens of African American culture, stories and values.
Another of our grant recipients, The National Urban League, exists to “provide economic empowerment, educational opportunities and the guarantee of civil rights for the underserved in America.” With 90 affiliates in 300 communities, their pillars include job opportunities, entrepreneurship centers, safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare solutions, voting and civil engagement, The State of Black America annual report, and more.
Our final recipient is The Executive Leadership Council, comprised of current and former Black CEOs and senior executives. Their mission is to create opportunities for Black executives, managers and students to positively impact businesses and communities while focusing on philanthropic efforts and external advocacy.
Each of our highlighted grant recipients are also eligible for matched donations through our Giving Together program for team members.
Executive leadership at Tyson Foods is committed to integrating equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the workplace, including our recruiting practices, training and education programs, and the benefits we offer team members. We invite you to visit this page for more information.