Columbia Is Closing Its Stores During the George Floyd Memorial

In a letter addressed to all North American employees, Columbia Sportswear Co. revealed that all of the region’s stores will close for two hours during George Floyd’s memorial services.

“The murder of George Floyd was a tragedy, underpinned by the corrosive effects of institutional racism. That’s why tomorrow, June 4, 2020, we will close all of our North American stores for two hours during his memorial services. We stand against racism in all its forms, but in this moment, we want to be clear that we are proud to say black lives matter. George Floyd’s life mattered,” the internal memo, which was emailed to FN, said.

The memorial service will take place today at 1 p.m. CT.

Additionally, the memo stated the company will take “additional concrete actions” to fight racism. The actions included a plan to make donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Marshall Project “to advance our country’s understanding of racism and its root causes and to promote equal justice and opportunity.” The memo listed 10 organizations as suggested places to donate to, which included the ACLU Foundation, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Urban League.

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Also, Columbia promised to double match the contributions of employees who make donations to non-profits focused on addressing racism up to $1,000 and said it would help individuals and communities exercise the critical right to vote and speak out and be a company that celebrates and encourages diversity.

“We are working to help end racial injustice. This includes the facilitation of education about racism within our own company, with ongoing events and dialogue,” the memo stated.

This weekend, as the unrest mounted over the death of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Columbia Sportswear Co. CEO Tim Boyle released a statement via Instagram speaking in solidarity with people who speak out against racial injustice.

“We stand together with all victims of racism and all who speak out and act against racial injustice. But this is not just about those who hold leadership positions. We are all in a position to lead,” Boyle’s statement read. “I am reminded of the powerful words of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ Gert always drove relentless improvement by saying, ‘It’s perfect, now make it better.’ On the topic of racism, society is more than imperfect, and we must all be relentless in the effort to make it better.”

Floyd was killed by Chauvin on May 25 by kneeling on his neck. Chauvin has since been taken into police custody and was initially charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, however the charge was elevated to second-degree murder on Wednesday. Also, charges were brought up Wednesday against the three other officers who were at the scene including aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

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“We stand together with all victims of racism and all who speak out and act against racial injustice. But this is not just about those who hold leadership positions. We are all in a position to lead. I am reminded of the powerful words of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall: ‘Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.’ Gert always drove relentless improvement by saying, ‘It’s perfect, now make it better.’ On the topic of racism, society is more than imperfect, and we must all be relentless in the effort to make it better.” –TIM BOYLE, CEO, Columbia Sportswear Company #TougherTogether

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