Foot Locker, Inc. Invests Nearly $54 Million Towards Educational and Economic Opportunities in the Black Community
The Company Reports on Funding Through FY21 Year-End for Leading Education & Economic Development (LEED) Initiative
"Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business," said
Empowering Black entrepreneurs and designers and investing in Black-led venture capital firms
- More than
$17million invested in Black-owned brands, as we diversify our assortment mix and offer consumers more options. In the two years since we announced LEED, we have invited and empowered Black-owned brands including Pro Standard, Don C, Abeille Creations, Grady Baby Company & Apparel, and Clan de Banlieue, among others to join the Foot Locker, Inc.ecosystem. From hyperlocal brands designing curated drops in our community stores to emerging brands in the global market across North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, we continue to seek out and celebrate Black brands and creators.
$21 millioncommitted to seven Black-led VC firms. Funding to Black-owned startups and businesses is disproportionally small.
The Black-led VC firms
Foot Locker, Inc.committed funds to are dedicated to investing in diverse founders. Among the underlying portfolios, are companies that offer products, apps, and services that enhance the health, wealth, and wellbeing of the Black community and provide unique opportunities for growth.
- More than
$10.8 millioninvested in partnerships with Black-owned vendors for key services and supplies, including, marketing and public relations; information technology; general construction, architecture, site engineering, store fixtures, and maintenance; and meetings and events. These vendor partners include Flowers Communications Group, Obsidianworks, Telrose Corporation, and Ten35, among others.
- Trained 160 creatives through the Designing with Sole initiative, a global intensive design program built in partnership with Pensole and New Balance that creates opportunity for underrepresented voices in the footwear industry.
Investing in Black and other underserved communities around the globe
- Through the Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program, developed in partnership with the
Local Initiatives Support Corporation(LISC) and Laureus Sport for Good, awarded 25 community organizations between $20,000and $100,000each to provide programming that advances health, wealth, and upward mobility in under-invested communities.
These programs serve an estimated 11,000 youth ages 4 to 24 in 19 cities across six countries. Year one winners for the
U.S.program can be found here and the first round of international winners can be found here.
- Expanded our support to UNCF, increasing scholarships to Black students.
Supporting Black team members at
- Expanded our internal scholarship program by adding 10 scholarship awards annually, which are dedicated to Black team members. This totals an additional
$50,000in scholarship funding per year.
- Created a Bridge Internship program, which creates pathways to corporate office roles for store team members. Since 2021, the program has expanded globally and provided more than 70 team members with intern positions in corporate functions such as marketing, finance, information technology, merchandising, buying, and customer experience.
- Launched a financial literacy program in partnership with the
Society for Financial Education and Professional Development(SFEPD), to teach personal money concepts that will enhance participants' ability to make informed and sound financial decisions to maximize their earnings, accumulate retirement savings, and create wealth. The financial literacy program acknowledges the historical racially discriminatory policies like redlining, predatory and discrimination lending practices, and housing zoning laws that have affected communities of color and resulted in economic inequality and inequities.
- Continued support for the Company's formal
Employee Resource Group, B.U.I.L.D. (Blacks United in Leadership and Development, serving African American, Black, African, and Caribbeanemployees) to design and execute programming in service of amplifying and advocating for a more equitable and sustainable Black work experience, and access to more robust career development opportunities.
Vice President, Corporate Communications