Taking action against racial injustice
June 18, 2020
On May 31, I shared a message with our co-workers and customers reaffirming our belief that equality is a human right—unequivocally condemning all forms of racism and injustice against Black people. We made a promise to engage with our co-workers and stakeholders to listen and learn about the systemic issues of racism in the U.S., and that is exactly what we have been doing these past few weeks. Last week, we held a series of virtual town hall meetings, open to all 18,000 co-workers in the U.S., where many of our Black co-workers shared their stories and provided insightful input on how IKEA can become an ally in the pursuit of racial equity.
Today, I want to share an update on our commitments to support racial equity and inclusion in our own workplace and in the broader society. IKEA Retail U.S. will commit $3 million over the next 12 months to support organizations that are working in support of social justice, economic empowerment and education initiatives for Black communities. By the end of FY20 (August), we will donate a combined total of $1.1 million to Black Lives Matter initiatives, Equal Justice Initiative, 100 Black Men of America, Inc., African American Policy Forum’s #SayHerName Campaign, YWCA USA and the National Black Justice Coalition for LGBT+ rights. We are also committing $900K in product donations to help furnish Black and minority-owned small businesses. More information will be shared on this effort in July. We will invest $1 million in FY21 to extend our commitment to include organizations supporting home ownership and entrepreneurship. We are also evaluating our vendor relationships ensuring that they meet our expectations on values & equality. Additionally, we will work with our partners at Ingka Group, TaskRabbit and Geomagical Labs to have an even greater impact.
In addition to our $3 million pledge, we will focus inward as well. As we look at opportunities within our organization, we see some areas that we feel really good about and others where there is room for improvement. We strive for diversity at all levels and commit to improving and accelerating our internal efforts supporting the upward mobility of multicultural/multiracial co-workers from hourly to salaried roles.
Since 2015, we have been deploying implicit bias training to our entire operation, and we will continue this work by piloting new technology, like BiasSync, to help our managers and leaders mitigate bias in the workplace. Additionally, we have already developed a Caring for People training series to help our co-workers understand the impact of inequality in the U.S. and globally. We recently unveiled a new hiring manager training program, which includes modules on recognizing implicit bias. In addition, we will increase our external outreach to develop stronger partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Our vision has always been to make life better for the many people we work with and we serve. Looking forward, we commit to being activists on behalf of the Black community, much like we have advocated for the rights of others including LGBTQ+ people, women, and immigrants. For IKEA Retail U.S., this is just the beginning of a long-term, sustainable commitment to supporting racial justice and equity. We will continue to create safe spaces for our co-workers to be heard and empower them to speak up to hold us accountable. We will work with allies and partners to make meaningful and measurable change within our organization, our industry, and society as a whole.
IKEA Retail U.S. President