Walmart announced this week that it will give $1.75 million in grants to three organizations in an effort to help African-Americans pursue higher education, job training and placement.
The Walmart Foundation will provide grants to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League (NUL) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), according to Tony Waller, senior director of corporate affairs at the big-box corporate giant headquartered in Bentonville, Ark.
“With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better,” said Waller. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”
Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League, said that the funds from Walmart will enable the New York-based organization founded in 1910 to expand its services throughout the country.
“Since 2006, we have been able to increasingly grow our workforce training program through ongoing support from the Walmart Foundation and subsequently have exceeded expectations of the number of individuals we’ve been able to serve,” said Morial, who also served as mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs, and continue helping African-Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment.”
According to Waller, the Walmart Foundation grant of $500,000 to UNCF will aid 16 historically Black colleges and universities achieve long-term financial stability so they can continue providing African-American students with access to higher education. In addition, a $1 million grant to NUL and a $250,000 grant to NAACP will fund programs to provide career counseling and job placement support and help businesses evaluate current hiring policies.
Jamal Watson can be reached at [email protected]