Foot Locker Reveals $54 Million Investment For National Black Business Month

·2 min read

Foot Locker inc. has announced that it made investments in the Black community worth about $54 million through its fiscal year that ends in 2021 to mark the beginning of National Black Business Month.

Foot Locker created the investment to fund the Leading Education and Economic Development Initiative (LEED), which amplifies and empowers the Black community.

Created in June 2020, the program works to expand programming for Black students while increasing efforts to work with Black businesses, featuring nonprofit groups, creatives and vendors.

The program is part of Foot Locker’s commitment to providing $200 million to the Black community. Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement that its commitment is taking the lead in a meaningful change.

“Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business,” Johnson said. “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.”

Foot Locker’s LEED initiative has empowered Black designers and entrepreneurs by investing $17 million in Black-owned brands like Abeille Creations, which created custom athletic apparel with the athletic retailer.

LEED also invested $10.8 million in partnerships with Black-owned vendors like co-founder Michael B. Jordan’s media and marketing agency Obsidianworks and seven other Black-led venture capital firms and Black-owned vendors.

Foot Locker’s funding also aims to help its Black employees and students by adding 10 annual scholarships to its $50,000 scholarship program for store associates seeking to advance their educations.

The LEED program will oversee the Bridge Internship program to help store associates advance their careers into corporate positions.

Foot Locker has expanded its efforts globally through its Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program, a partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The national community development organization will provide scholarships between $25,000 and $100,000 to organizations in 19 cities to help advance Black communities.

“The past few years have been difficult for young people — particularly in Black and Brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” LISC CEO Lisa Glover said in a statement.

“In establishing this program, Foot Locker, Inc. has recognized the ongoing impact of systemic racism, prioritized the needs of teens and young adults, and committed capital to on-the-ground strategies that directly address the local challenges. We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement in these important issues,” she said.

LISC is one of the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America.