By Benno Dorer, Chair & CEO, The Clorox Company
I’m heartbroken at the thought of what it’s like for so many people, including some of my own colleagues and friends, to live in fear because of the color of their skin. The recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and more recently George Floyd, have brought that intense pain to the surface once again. These tragedies remind us of why we must fight for a better world, a world where there’s no question that Black Lives Matter.
Throughout our history at Clorox, we’ve stood against racism, inequality and injustice. We’re now asking ourselves whether we’ve done enough. And the answer is that we must stand stronger for the Black community to confront the systemic racial injustices that have plagued our nation for generations.
Clorox has deep roots in Oakland and Atlanta. For years, we’ve focused on supporting cultural arts, K-12 education, STEM, literacy and leadership programs and urban farming. We will do more, starting right now, to make an immediate and lasting impact for Black people in our communities, including an initial donation of $2.5 million focusing on three areas:
- Supporting Black businesses in our communities impacted by recent events
- Engaging Black youth who represent our future
- Accelerating Black community access to justice and criminal justice reform
This investment will build on our long-standing support for the underserved, including the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), which we helped found in 1978. Our employee resource groups will decide how to deploy some of this donation toward efforts fighting racism, injustice and inequality. And, we’ll enlist more of our Clorox teammates to contribute their passions and skills by working with these and other organizations.
Our responsibility to drive lasting change exists not only in our communities, but within our own organization. As a people-centered company, we’ve been deeply engaged in the important work of confronting bias, driving inclusion and diversity and creating a place where every member of our team can be exactly who they are. We will do more.
We have committed to several additional actions:
- Every executive team member will volunteer with organizations that fight for equality and justice
- We will increase our spending with minority- and women-owned businesses
- We are doubling our investment to address conscious and unconscious bias
- We will materially increase our recruiting focus on underserved communities
One of the most special things about our company is the way our core value – Do The Right Thing – comes to life every day. Right now, that value guides our work to create a more just and equitable world. Our 8800 Clorox people and I will do more. We will hold each other accountable, and we’ll ask you to hold us accountable as we share our progress over time.
The road ahead needs fixing. But it is a road worth taking. And we plan to be there every step of the way.