Hudson’s Bay in Canada has made a 30 million Canadian dollar commitment over 10 years to support organizations working to advance racial equity and inclusion.
The new social impact platform, through the Hudson’s Bay Foundation, is called “Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change.” It will be focused on education, employment and empowerment, according to the Toronto-based retailer.
Hudson’s Bay is partnering with five charitable organizations: Indspire, Black Youth Helpline, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, CPAC Foundation and MLSE Foundation.
“Racial equity is one of the most urgent issues facing society, and through Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change, our goal is to create tangible and measurable change that makes a difference in the lives of Canadians,” said Iain Nairn, president and chief executive officer of Hudson’s Bay, a division of the Hudson’s Bay Co. “With our own 350-year company history that in the past included discrimination and inequity, we have a responsibility to take action and drive progress in creating a fair and equitable Canada for all.” Hudson’s Bay operates 88-unit department stores across Canada and thebay.com.
The Hudson’s Bay Foundation aims to impact more than 300,000 lives through programs run by its partner organizations. beginning with scholarships and bursaries for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education, empowering Black youth with career readiness and training programs in high-demand fields, and using sport to teach life skills that empower racialized communities and improve academic engagement and workplace readiness, the retailer indicated in a statement Monday.
Indspire supports First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. Black Youth Helpline’s services includes its Stay-in-School initiative working with youth, school districts and families to keep kids in school. The CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals empowers the next generation of Black professionals with skills and networks to overcome systemic barriers and enter high-demand fields through on-the-job learning and industry exposure.
The CPAC Foundation helps immigrant professionals with their licensure, skills upgrading, employment, professional and leadership development, cultural integration and accessing international business opportunities. CPAC also advocates on issues important to Chinese Canadians. The MLSE Foundation focuses on supporting the education, employment and empowerment of racialized youth across Ontario through sport and is the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
Recently, Hudson’s Bay created a diversity, equity and inclusion executive position to advise the team and DEI strategies, and four employee resource groups have since launched. Last January, Hudson’s Bay signed the BlackNorth Pledge to address unconscious bias and anti-Black systemic racism. In May, a phased, comprehensive education program will roll out, with the goal of every Hudson’s Bay associate participating in Indigenous cultural awareness training by the end of the year.