Officials at Sainsbury’s say the supermarket chain they will be donating an unprecedented £1 million over the coming year to organisations that offer support to Black communities.
The retailer plans to kickstart the campaign through a partnership with Show Racism the Red Card, an anti-racism charity focused on children, to help the group provide educational resources to 30,000 schools in England, Scotland, and Wales.
“This support from Sainsbury’s will mean that, for the first time in our 25-year history, SRtRC educational resources can be used in every school across England, Scotland and Wales,” said Paul Kearns, Deputy Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) said: Teachers will have a bank of materials to help them focus on empathy building, increasing understanding, building resilience to racist ideas, and encouraging critical thinking among their pupils. This last year has reminded us of all the heart-breaking effects that racism can have on an individual, a family, a community, a nation, and the wider world. We will not solve this problem alone, we need to build alliances and partnerships, and working with Sainsbury’s to educate young people and supporting teachers will help to improve lives and effect positive change.”
Sainsbury’s will make contributions throughout 2021-22 to other charities to businesses to social enterprises as it aims to end food insecurity and racism, while promoting social mobility for under-resourced and under-supported Black areas.
One of those commitments is signing on to help the Black British Network boost diversity, equity and inclusion in businesses, especially in senior positions. Some 1,400 leaders at the retailer have taken a race fluency training course so they can both empathise and support those who have struggled to overcome injustices, biases and a lack of upward mobility.
“Making progress against the commitments we have made to our Black colleagues and customers is something that we are focused on all year round, but I always look forward to us coming together in October to show support and to celebrate the Black community,” Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said. “As one of the UK’s biggest retailers, we know we can use our size and scale to make a real difference to Black communities, driving education and long-term change in our society. We’re delighted that we can play our part and support through donations which have real impact. We all have a responsibility to help build an equal society, free from racial discrimination and as a business of 189,000 colleagues serving millions of customers each week, together we are committed to lead and enable positive change.
In addition to its partnerships outside of the walls of its stores – which also include adoption of the Halo Code to back Black workers who choose natural hair styles and through its Future Brands programme that works with Black-owned businesses to provide more career opportunities – Sainsbury’s says it will continue to boost the range of items it carries that cater to the African and Caribbean community.