From the primary customers who cop kicks to the pro basketball players that inspire some of the most popular sneaker silhouettes, it goes without saying that Black people have contributed on a big scale to the monetary success of Foot Locker.
The footwear empire has decided to take notice in its core demographic by announcing a whopping $200 million will be invested into the Black community in total after $54 million was already spent in 2021 alone.
The news comes as many prepare to celebrate Black Business Month throughout August. Foot Locker took to its official Instagram recently (seen above) to explain why the initiative is so important, with a graphic that reads, “This month we acknowledge and continue to appreciate Black-owned businesses across the globe including our LEED business partners,” following up by adding, “LEED takes pride in focusing on a community that is far too often underrepresented when it comes to access to capital and opportunities to build wealth.”
According to NBC News, LEED (Leading Education and Economic Development) was launched in 2020 and is dedicated to expanding programming for Black students, in addition to building relationships with Black-owned businesses from nonprofits to creatives. Foot Locker Chairman Richard Johnson spoke on what the initiative means to the company as a whole, stating, “Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business.” He went on to add, “Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and opportunities that empower, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.”
More tech specs on this powerful campaign below, via NBC News:
“The program has empowered Black entrepreneurs and designers by investing $17 million in Black-owned brands, including Abeille Creations, which collaborated with Foot Locker to design custom athletic apparel. LEED also partnered with seven Black-led venture capital firms and invested $10.8 million in partnerships with Black-owned vendors, including Obsidianworks, the media and marketing agency co-founded by actor Michael B. Jordan.
Foot Locker’s funding also aims to help its Black employees and students. Through LEED, the retailer added 10 annual scholarships to its $50,000 scholarship program for store associates who are advancing their educations. In addition, LEED oversees the Bridge Internship program to help store associates advance their careers into corporate positions, and it launched a financial literacy program.”
We’re sure this will prove to be a game-changer for our community and the various creatives within it. We’ll be sure to keep you all updated on how Foot Locker and LEED may be able to impact you locally.
Let’s get this money, people!
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Foot Locker Pledges $200M Investment Into The Black Community, $54M Already For 2021 was originally published on blackamericaweb.com