In 2020, Foot Locker INC. vowed to invest $200 million over the next five years to support the Black community through its own initiative.
According to NBC News, the United States’ leading athleisure retail business has invested a near $54 million in the Black community through its ending of the fiscal year 2021.
The investment funds their initiative known as the Leading Education Development Initiative (LEED), which was established in 2020. The goal was to provide expansion of programming for Black students, all while striving to boost their support of Black businesses.
Community non-profits, Black vendors, and professional service partners have been a part of the company's initiative.
"Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business," said Richard Johnson, Chairman, and CEO, Foot Locker, INC. in a statement. "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."
Since the June 2020 announcement of the initiative, the company has made some significant strides: More than $17 million invested in Black-owned brands, more than $10.8 million invested in partnership with Black-owned vendors, trained 160 creatives through the Designing with Sole initiative, and increasing scholarships to Black students.
The company also has internal scholarships available to its dedicated Black team members. Through LEED, ten annual scholarships are awarded to store associates who are continuing their education.
“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 earlier this year.
The retailer has teamed up with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to award 25 community organizations scholarships of $20,000 to $100,000 to assist in the advancement of Black communities in 19 cities.
“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,” Glover stated. “We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement in these important issues.”