The Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program is named for a Winn-Dixie associate who was celebrated last October, on the occasion of her 100th birthday, for her many trailblazing accomplishments in spite of racial discrimination.
Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG) and its charitable arm, the SEG Gives Foundation, have launched the Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program. Under the initiative, nonprofit organizations in communities across the grocer’s seven-state Southeast market area can apply for grants to help address racial disparities in health care and food insecurity.
“At Southeastern Grocers, we take pride in cultivating an environment of belonging, inclusion and diversity,” said Elizabeth Thompson, EVP and chief people officer at Jacksonville, Florida-based SEG. “As a people-first company, we are committed to creating a thriving culture with stores that reflect the local communities we serve. Embracing and celebrating our differences makes us stronger, and we are honored to stand with our associates, customers and neighbors to support nonprofits that positively impact our communities. We are stronger together.”
The Romay Davis Belonging, Inclusion and Diversity Grant Program has begun accepting applications and will remain open through Sept. 8. Organizations can apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. The SEG Inclusion and Diversity Committee will review and evaluate all applications, with grant awards to be revealed in December.
The program is named for 20-year Winn-Dixie associate Romay Davis. Last October, SEG and the Montgomery, Alabama, Winn-Dixie store where she works paid tribute to Davis on her 100th birthday. Despite living much of her life during a time of segregation and overt racial discrimination, Davis served in World War II, earned two college degrees, enjoyed a 30-year career in fashion and attained a black belt in Taekwondo before rejoining the workforce at the age of 80 as a supermarket associate.
“Ms. Romay has achieved many milestones throughout her accomplished life, and it is SEG’s hope that this grant, named in her honor, provides inspiration and opportunity for others to do the same,” the company said in unveiling the program.
The parent company of Bi-Lo, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, SEG is one of the largest conventional supermarket companies in the United States, with grocery stores, liquor stores and in-store pharmacies serving communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. SEG is No. 34 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in in North America.