We have found ourselves in an important moment in history. We're in the midst of a mass societal movement against racial injustice. 

The national dialogue surrounding race and equity prompted a swift examination of our opportunities to positively contribute in our communities and live our enterprise values outside our four walls.

With Altria’s long history of commitment to racial equality - dating back to the 1930s - we are committed to showing up with humility as we address systemic racism and advance social and economic equity. We hope to lend our voices and help drive necessary change.

Race & Equity Initiative

In June 2020 we announced our Race & Equity Initiative, which included $5 million in contributions to non-profits working to address systemic racism faced by Black Americans and advance social and economic equity. The company tapped a diverse, cross-functional advisory board of passionate and thoughtful Altria leaders to identify areas of focus for our work in the race and equity space. They conducted research and engaged with our Black colleagues and diverse community partners to recommend investment areas that reflect the interests of our business, people and communities and will have the greatest impact.

 

Altria's Race & Equity Initiative

$5 million to establish a community investment strategy to address systematic racism faced by Black Americans and advanced social and economic equity.

Criminal Justice Reform
 

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Police Reform
 
 

Changing Drug Policy Image

 
Changing Drug
Policy
 

Black Owned Business Development
 

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Short-Term Business Recovery
 
 

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Business Support
 
 

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Wealth Creation
 
Employee Activism
Professional Services
Embed Equity in Core Giving Portfolio

Success 3600 Inclusive Community & Culture

 

Environment Workforce & Economic Growth

Align pro bono services and policy engagement with focus areas

Race & Equity Principles

  • Listening and responding to our Black colleagues and other diverse voices within our company and communities
  • Creating sustainable investments and growth over time
  • Collaborating across sectors including businesses, academic, public officials and activist

CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellowship

In the midst of the racial justice movement this past summer, the CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellowship brought CEO Action signatories together to work collectively to advance racial equity through public policy.

Inclusion, Diversity & Race Heritage

For nearly a century, our companies have supported numerous efforts to champion equality for and conduct business with diverse people and teams.

Supplier Diversity

By focusing on diverse small business owners as a pillar of our Race & Equity initiative, Altria is lengthening the reach of our long-standing Supplier Diversity efforts. With a 40-year track record including more than $1 billion in spending with diverse suppliers, our companies still have opportunities to connect and contract with more businesses owned by people of color.

That’s why one goal of our enterprise Race & Equity Initiative is to raise our supplier managers’ awareness of local Black- and Brown-owned businesses as prospective suppliers in our communities and our employees’ awareness as individual patrons. We believe these actions will drive progress toward our Supplier Diversity goals and contribute to thriving, diverse local supply chains for medium- and large-scale companies more broadly. Learn More

Our Progress

In 2020, Altria and it's tobacco operating companies took several steps to aid and advance the national movement for racial equity.

  • We recognized Juneteenth as a paid “day of healing” and raised the Juneteenth flag at our facilities – an important step in honoring a momentous occasion in our nation’s history.
  • We voiced our support for the responsible removal of Confederate monuments in our headquarters community, Richmond, Virginia.
  • Our CEO sent a letter to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam expressing Altria’s support of the Commonwealth’s Special Sessions to address criminal justice reform as well as our commitment to efforts to eliminate racial disparities in education, employment and entrepreneurship.
  • We invested $800,000 to Central Virginia organizations that support Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • We contributed $1.75 million to support the development of affordable housing in Richmond, VA.
  • We gave a $1 million grant to the National Urban League’s Equitable Justice and Democracy Initiative.
  • Our tobacco operating companies also took a stand, communicating to their adult tobacco consumers their commitments to stand against racism and inequality. 
  • John Middleton announced its Black-Owned Business Initiative focused on supporting, elevating and amplifying Black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition to our initial $5 million corporate contribution, Middleton contributed $1 million to two non-profits that support Black-owned business development - The Enterprise Center in Philadelphia, and Growth Opps in Cleveland. Middleton is also focused on raising awareness of specific Black-owned businesses through its marketing programs. Learn More
  • We encouraged our employees to use their voices in social justice policy, engage in voting, and participate in learning and action on race and equity issues. Learn More

 

 


Juneteenth Day Flag

Juneteenth Day of Healing

Living through this social awakening, the UNIFI ERG team had to process what was happening externally and then repackage it to have conversations internally with the company.
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Better Housing Coalition

As part of our strategic giving through the Race and Equity Initiative, Altria contributed $1.75 million to the Richmond-based Better Housing Coalition (BHC) in 2020 and will invest an additional $1.25 million to total $3 million over the next two years.
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Our Race & Equity Focus - 2020 Year in Review

Altria is stepping up to help drive necessary change. Read some of the steps we have taken to advance our Race & Equity Focus throughout the organization and beyond.