Altria donating $5 million to fight racial inequality; supports removing confederate monuments

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 12:44 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Altria Group, Inc. announced Friday it’s making an initial commitment $5 million to address systemic racism faced by Black Americans and advance social and economic equity.

The company says the money will be used to support national and local organizations working across the United States and in its operating communities, as well as provide immediate support to small businesses impacted by recent vandalism.

Altria will also launch a month-long employee giving campaign which will match on a two-for-one basis all employee donations. Recipient organizations will be selected by Unifi, Altria’s Black Employee Resource Group.

Altria also announced a company-wide paid “Day of Healing” on Juneteenth, which happens on June 19, to allow employees time for personal reflection and healing.

“These are difficult times, and we must find ways to embrace our differences, address underlying systemic issues and move forward as a country,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s Chief Executive Officer.

“We know we don’t have all the answers, but we will learn by listening to our diverse colleagues, community members and others as we seek progress within our company and the places we call home,” said Gifford.

Altria says it also supports removing confederate monuments in its hometown of Richmond, Va.

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