2022 black creators black excellence

Foot Locker Reveals $54 Million Investment To Support the Black Community For National Black Business Month!

-Jasmine Dyer-


To kick off National Black Business Month, this August, Foot Locker Inc. has announced that it made investments and charitable contributions worth $54 million to Black-owned businesses and Black philanthropic causes! 

Foot Locker created the investment to fund the Leading Education and Economic Development Initiative (LEED); its purpose is to invest in, amplify, and empower Black culture, which is “pivotal in shaping sneaker culture.” 

Launched in June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, the program aims to expand Black students’ programming while increasing efforts to work with Black businesses, including nonprofit groups, creatives and vendors. 

(📸: LEED Website) 

This initiative is part of the athletic retailer’s commitment to providing $200 million to the Black community. Many companies have pledged similar promises since the tragic death of George Floyd, but many companies have not followed through after those claims were made.

“Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business,” Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Richard Johnson said. “Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and opportunities that empower, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.” 

Foot Locker’s LEED program has empowered Black entrepreneurs and designers by investing $17 million in Black-owned brands such as Abeille Creations, which collaborated with Foot Locker to create custom athletic apparel. 

LEED also teamed up with seven Black-led venture capital firms and invested $10.8 million in partnerships and Black-owned vendors like Obsidianworks, the media and marketing agency co-founded by actor Michael B.Jordan. 

The investment from Foot Locker also aims to help its Black employees and students. Through the LEED program, the retailer added 10 annual scholarships to its $50,000 scholarship program for store associates determined to advance their educations. 

Additionally, LEED manages the Bridge Internship program to help store associates advance their careers into corporate positions, along with a new financial literacy program. 

The athletic retailer has expanded its efforts globally through its Foot Locker Foundation Community Empowerment Program, announced last year. By partnering with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) — a national community development organization — the program will provide scholarships between $20,000 to $100,000 to 25 community organizations to advance Black communities in 19 cities across the globe. 

“The past few years have been difficult for young people — particularly in Black and Brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” LISC CEO Lisa Glover said in January. 

“In establishing this program, Foot Locker, Inc. has recognized the ongoing impact of systemic racism, prioritized the needs of teens and young adults, and committed capital to on-the-ground strategies that directly address the local challenges. We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement in these important issues.” 

Cousins, what are your thoughts on Foot Locker’s investment in Black culture?

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