Dollar General has opened up its pocketbook in the fight against racial inequality.
The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer pledged $5 million — along with its charitable Dollar General Literacy Foundation — to support national and local organizations focused on education as well as racial and social justice initiatives. (The foundation said that it has to date awarded more than $182 million to bolster literacy and learning.)
“Our core values, which include respecting the dignity and differences of others, are the cornerstones of our culture and operations,” CEO Todd Vasos, who is also a board member of the company’s foundation, said in a statement. “We continue to work toward a world that reflects our mission and values and remain committed to ensuring they are evident in all we do.”
A recent string of deaths of Black people at the hands of police and other authority figures has ignited grief and anger across the United States. Many Americans have pledged donations, signed petitions and participated in protests in an effort to band together against systemic racism, while numerous brands and retailers — including those who have been consistently vocal on controversial issues and the historically silent — have made financial commitments of their own.
Dollar General has also recently made headlines for other philanthropic contributions: In May, its offered $250,000 to its Dollar General Employee Assistance Foundation, which provides financial aid to workers experiencing hardships amid the coronavirus pandemic. As it sought to hire 50,000 more workers to keep up with “heightened demand for household essentials,” the chain devoted an additional $25 million to retail, distribution and fleet employee bonuses.
“We understand the work our teams are doing every day makes a real difference in the lives of our neighbors and communities who depend on us to provide a reliable, affordable and nearby shopping experience,” Vasos said in May. “Our employees continue to demonstrate the strength of our mission of serving others and remain united every day to serve our customers.”