The grassroots demonstrations concerning black racial justice, sparked by the death of George Floyd, have created an urgent, unprecedented response by CEOs and corporate leaders. Companies have made extraordinary pledges of support in the face of significant operational and financial challenges. Many have stepped up support for black workers and communities. These monetary commitments are designed to facilitate and support “action for racial justice — to empower, support, and accelerate immediate solutions, as well as work towards long-term systematic transformation.”
What is surprising is the paucity of corporations and the stinginess of the donations. In a sense, this shows the true regard corporate America has for black people and is, in actuality, why marches and demonstrations were required in the first place. The corporations in our BLM response database list earned over $400 billion in 2019. While we understand that the level of uncertainty in the economy warrants conservation of monetary resources, these institutions are the primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s corporate credit facility, a $6.7 trillion dollar expansion in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet specifically designed to help these corporations.
Once the heat is off, how do we know corporations will make good on these pledges? Creative Investment has captured data on corporate responses so far. The data was compiled by Andrew Taber, Impact Investing Intern, Emory University. We note that this is the first step toward an effort to monitor corporate performance in this area.
Creative Investment has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the development of a tracker. To donate to our effort, please contribute at paypal.me/cirm. To get a copy of our BLM response database, send an email to email@example.com. Click here to send Bitcoin. (Our bitcoin address is: 3PHXciT7q2RJNXXsbykP7q53EcdKx8e5wk.)
This editorial originally appeared in the Creative Investment Research newsletter.
This is an opinion piece that does not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of BLACK ENTERPRISE.