Ocean Spray stands in solidarity with the Black community and people of color. We are committed to implementing systemic change to combat racism with a sustained, long-term and measurable effort of our own.
As a first step, we have made a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization committed to ending racial injustice, to support the critical work happening across the world today. We know a donation is not enough, and, as a company, we are driving forth with change internally to reflect the change which we hope to see in the world around us.
With our Diversity and Inclusion team, we are fostering an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work, and where ideas grow from the splendor of diversity and various world views.
Over the last week, we have launched initial, immediate actions including:
- Education: First, we are implementing new, more robust training and education for our colleagues on unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion, being an ally, creating an inclusive workplace, and cross-cultural awareness, to start. We are also providing free access for all colleagues on educational content, including books, podcasts, and web series, regarding actively combating racism.
- Recruitment and Development: Second, we are working with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and other diverse school programs to recruit for open positions within our company. We are also committed to dedicated, conscious development plans for our colleagues.
- Paid Corporate Citizenship Days: Third, we are identifying and offering actionable opportunities for colleagues to get involved in their local communities, allowing each colleague two paid corporate citizenship days to volunteer and advocate for equality and justice. We encourage our colleagues to be voices for change, driving forward justice not only at work, but among their friends and families.
- Dedicated Grant Program: Fourth, the Ocean Spray Community Fund will prioritize funding for organizations advocating justice and equality. We invite organizations to apply for grants through our online portal.
These steps are just the start of our effort. We are dedicated to an open, devoted conversation. While we don’t have all the answers, we are holding ourselves accountable by setting goals, collecting data, and examining change over time as we champion diversity and equality.
As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change…Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”
Our cooperative was founded on the very principle that we are stronger together. We stand committed to change, and to creating a better life for everyone.