Walmart Grows Relationship with HBCUs, Encourages Career Pathways

Retailer aims to improve racial equity for students, workers
Emily Crowe
Multimedia Editor
Walmart HBCU
Walmart and Sam's Club are hosting an HBCU Student Summit in Arkansas this weekend.

Walmart and Sam’s Club are on a mission to help create equitable education and career opportunities for Black and African Americans. To start, the retailers are hosting their inaugural HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Student Summit in Northwest Arkansas this weekend to offer professional development workshops and interview opportunities.

Additionally, the Walmart Makers Studio, which originally launched in Atlanta, is hitting the road and will make appearances on the 365 Impact Tour at HBCU campuses across the United States, with the goal of educating and inspiring students in such areas as education, leadership, entrepreneurship, health and financial literacy.

Walmart is also sponsoring the inaugural HBCU New York Football Classic to celebrate Black excellence and culture, bringing HBCU merchandise to stores in October, and expanding its engagement in the Equity in Education Initiative with North Carolina A&T State University.

Further, in an effort to support nontraditional pathways to careers through skill development and credentials, the Center for Racial Equity is rolling out philanthropic efforts that will support advancement opportunities for workers without college degrees. The retailer is granting $2.5 million to support three organizations: Jobs for the Future, 1890 Universities Foundation and The Education Trust.

“I am excited about these efforts and the ongoing commitment I see at Walmart to work inside our business and within our communities to address the root causes of racial disparity in education and beyond to help advance racial equity,” wrote Earvin Young, VP of people strategy and portfolio management at Sam’s Club, in a company blog post. “Our commitment is personal to many at Walmart because we see ourselves in this work.”

Each week, approximately 230 million customers and members visit Walmart’s more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Sam’s Club is No. 8 on the list.

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