[LFC Comments: We received the following from a Cleveland patriot. regarding Giant Eagle’s jumping on the critical race theory bandwagon.]
“My general thoughts to them will be that, THEY, Giant Eagle admits to discrimination and racism in “our communities” yet their solution is to impose the dangerous concept of “critical race theory” and its companion of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (D.I.E.) to destroy our country!”
“I will send a letter to corporate (in Pittsburgh – yes, one can find it by googling Giant Eagle) and go to the three local Giant Eagles in my area asking to speak to the manager and indicating that I will no longer shop there ( I will not mention that I have already taken my business elsewhere due to their draconian “masking” policy, having gone as much as possible to “mom and pop” locations). I will also cut up my Giant Eagle card and give each manager one (since I have several;)”
Standing Up Against Racism — Our Commitment to Act
May 24, 2021 Update
As we join our communities in preparation for an emotional May 25, we reflect on what George Floyd’s murder and the tragic deaths of so many other members of the Black community say about the systemic racism that exists in our neighborhoods and across the country today.
Twelve months ago, we at Giant Eagle and GetGo recognized our responsibility to be a part of the solution. We set ambitious and specific goals to stand up against racism and hold ourselves accountable to our role in creating a more just society.
Through continuous listening and acknowledging our responsibility to educate ourselves and act, we have made significant progress toward our initial goals. We also know this is just the beginning. Realizing our actions speak louder than words, we are taking this opportunity to honor George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Andre Hill, and so many others by providing an update on progress made toward our commitments.
We committed to reach or surpass 14% Black representation at leadership levels by 2025. We have completed interviews of hundreds of Black Team Leaders across our organization to gauge interest and capacity for career progression and have implemented individual development plans to expedite their advancement. We have recently launched a Mentorship Program – pairing Company Officers with high-potential Black and other Team Members. Also, updates to our Diversity Hiring and Promotion Guiding Principles now mandate that at least one person of color and one woman must be interviewed before a job offer for a leadership position can be made.
To help us attract prospective Team Members, we commissioned a notable amount of the $350,000 awarded by the Giant Eagle Foundation in Summer 2020 to strengthen our partnerships with regional Urban League chapters. We have also established relationships with historically Black colleges and universities to increase our pipeline for new talent. Additionally, recently introduced hiring tactics including using “blind” resumes and diverse interview panels help all candidates to be considered and treated equitably.
We committed to placing a Black business leader on our Board of Directors within the next 24 months.
We successfully recruited and placed an accomplished Black business leader on the Company’s Board of Directors. She joins another recently appointed and well-respected business leader as our first two female executive directors on our increasingly diverse Board. We have already benefited from these powerful new voices and look forward to their unique perspectives bettering our company and the communities we serve.
We committed to complete a compensation equity study by race and to make any necessary adjustments. After a robust data collection period, we have partnered with a highly specialized outside firm to analyze the information and identify areas of improvement, if they exist.
We committed to help solve food access challenges in three communities with significant Black populations this year. Giant Eagle Team Members have done a tremendous amount of work to learn about the historical and societal factors that contribute to communities struggling for access to affordable, quality, and healthy food. Over the past year, we’ve been developing potential solutions to create a sustainable, scalable, and long-term approach to address the challenges by partnering with local organizations with deeper knowledge of the communities and their needs.
We are in the process of launching Community Pickup Points — a program which offers community members the option to purchase groceries that are dropped off at convenient community pickup locations – via valued partnerships with impactful community organizations in three Pittsburgh neighborhoods: Sheraden, Homewood and Larimer — achieving our year-one goal and providing us with important learnings to expand to six additional communities in the next 12 months.
The Community Pickup Points program will evolve both within these initial neighborhoods and as it’s expanded to others to best meet the needs of the individual communities. We recognize that this model will only be successful when it’s brought to life in ways that allow the communities it benefits to see it as their own.
Additionally, we know that the Community Pickup Points initiative may not meaningfully address food access issues everywhere and we are actively working on complementary solutions aimed at bringing high quality, affordable foods to communities in need. We look forward to launching some of these solutions with community partners in the coming months.
We committed to double the number of Black-owned businesses we work with each year for the next five years. We have established our baseline of current Black-owned suppliers, which required an extensive database review conducted by a third party. We are pleased to share we’ve achieved our year-one goal. Black-owned brands we’re thrilled to start selling in select stores include Akron Honey (mind-blowing good raw honey), Cobbler World (nostalgic and unique desserts), The Honey Pot Co. (plant-based feminine care) and A Dozen Cousins (soulfully seasoned beans).
To support the long term growth of these supplier efforts, another portion of our $350,000 Giant Eagle Foundation commitment was donated to organizations in Pennsylvania and Ohio that promote the growth of Black entrepreneurs and businesses.
We committed to continued education and dialogue. Open and honest discussions about the deep-rooted realities of racism can be uncomfortable. But we know that continued learning and dialogue are critical to our understanding of this complex issue and our ability to sustain momentum needed to affect change in our company and our communities.
As such, we’ve designed a Team Member educational series that has three main goals: problem awareness and understanding, building empathy, and becoming allies. Our curriculum is designed to provide different perspectives, engage in meaningful discussions, and enable opportunities for Team Members to learn from each other’s experiences. Activities conducted in recent months included: discussions with Dr. Joe William Trotter, Jr., the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Justice at Carnegie Mellon University and Director of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE), and with two leaders from the YWCA Pittsburgh – CEO Angela M. Reynolds, Ph.D., and Barbara Johnson, Vice President of the Center for Race and Gender Equity; a series of roundtable discussions designed to equip Store Leaders with skills they can use to engage in difficult discussions associated with systemic racism, inequality, police brutality, and more; and monthly movie and book club events intended to expose Team Members to new ideas and perspectives while creating a place to engage on important topics.
Racism’s impact on Black and other communities.
We are proud of the initial progress we have made, but we know that our journey has just begun. Our obligation is to sustain the positive momentum we’ve built in the past 12 months. There is so much to learn about the complex nature of racism and its impact not only on our Black communities but also on our Asian American and other valued Team Members and neighbors. The rising violence against Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in particular has been eye-opening and serves as an important example for why our work to acknowledge inequities across communities remains. We must evolve our understanding of how racism affects all of us. Thank you to every Team Member, guest and community member who join us in these efforts.
We look forward to providing additional updates on our progress in the coming months.