Levi Strauss & Co. is going beyond donating clothes to refugees and granting $1 million to organizations that work to protect the civil liberties of “highly vulnerable communities.”
The grants will come from the Levi Strauss Foundation and the organizations receiving the funds are those working with immigrants, refugees, religious minorities and the transgender community in the U.S. and abroad.
The denim brand has previously launched a campaign for clothing donations to Syrian refugees in Europe, donated 50,000 British pounds to the International Rescue Committee and started a matching program for any employee IRC donations. Levi’s also recently launched a Pride collection, with a portion of sales going to support the LGBTQ community.
Levi said in a blog post that “today’s dynamic policy landscape” makes it more important “to step up efforts” for marginalized and underserved communities.
Specifically, the $1 million in funding will go toward education, advocacy, legal support and mobilization efforts of national organizations Define American, Live Free, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Transgender Law Center and United We Dream and San Francisco-based organizations Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Just Cause, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote and Pangea Legal Services.
International organizations International Refugee Relief Assistance Project and Marie Stopes International will also be receiving a grant.
Most of the organizations are focused on immigration issues. U.S. President Donald Trump has moved repeatedly to block immigration from certain countries, moved to end deportation exemptions and promised to build a wall along the 1,300-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico.
“Now more than ever, we need the business community to be a positive force for social change in this country and the world,” said Daniel Lee, executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation. “Discrimination and stigma are anathema to our core values.”
Lee noted that Levi’s founder Levi Strauss emigrated to the U.S. from Germany and said “America is at its best when everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their fullest potential.”
Of the grant going to National Domestic Workers Alliance, executive director Ai-jen Poo said Levi’s move is “the type of leadership needed to preserve and protect what we hold dear in our democracy.”
“We live in a moment that only comes along once every few generations, where we are called to do more for each other and for progress,” Poo added.
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