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.
- 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