Last month, we launched – our campaign hub centered on holding corporations accountable for their “Black Lives Matter” statements with tangible policy changes. In the wake of the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, companies like Nike and McDonald’s were quick to release poignant commercials and thoughtful written statements, but are slow to show their low wage workers, who are disproportionately Black, that their lives matter by paying them a living wage.1 How can Black lives matter to these companies when employees don’t earn enough to pay their rent or feed their families? Something isn’t adding up. 

The truth is that justice is not a trend and corporate statements and murals are not enough. Layoffs and unemployment continue to surge as corporations and their billionaire executives take in record profits, while coronavirus and police violence ravage our communities. We cannot allow corporations to escape with a quick PR statement and continue to hurt our communities as they solely seek to better their bottom lines.

Jeanne, we have created a set of crucial campaigns demanding that corporations go beyond their statements–and we need your help to hold them accountable:


Tell fast-food companies: If Black Lives Matter, pay your Black employees.
Black workers are more likely to have front-line jobs that have been deemed essential—putting their families and their own lives at risk just to make ends meet.2Too often Black people are expected to choose between their health and livelihoods because of inadequate workplace policies that do not protect them, all while their wages fall short of the current cost of living. Demand fast-food companies pay their employees a living wage.

Nike: It’s time to move #BeyondTheStatement. Nike released the most poignant statement in solidarity with Black lives and brands itself as an ally in the fight against social inequality. The marriage between Nike and Black culture has evolved into many highly lucrative endorsement deals with Black public figures, including Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, and Colin Kaepernick.3,4 As an industry titan and multimillion-dollar company, it’s time Nike put power behind their stated values and pays their employees a living wage.

Caterpillar, Levi Strauss, Stanley Black & Decker, and Steelcase should pay reparations, not shareholders.Corporations say they are in solidarity with Black people, yet the current economic downturn seems to only serve the rich. While thousands of workers are filing for unemployment, these corporations have paid over $700 million in shareholder dividends to their CEO’s.5 Instead of fattening corporate CEO wallets, demand these companies donate to organizations that are supporting on-the-ground protestors.

Tell all NBA team owners to pay all laid-off arena workers! Over forty percent of hourly workers, which includes the vast majority of game-day employees, lack any savings and over 75% of them have less than $500 saved for emergencies. The current economic uncertainty will likely wipe out any savings these employees have and force them to take on toxic debt or make difficult choices around food and medical care. Demand all NBA team owners pay all laid-off area workers. 

Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other energy companies must stop polluting the very air Black people breathe.Protests in support of Black lives are taking place in the backyards of plants and refineries that refuse to acknowledge their roles in environmental racism. Seventy-one percent of Black people live in counties that violate federal air pollution standards, as compared to 58% of the white population—along with nearly 51% of Black people residing in cities and metropolitan areas that struggle to have clean air.6,7,8,9 The long-term effects of air pollutants on Black health have contributed to the stark disparity in coronavirus deaths.10 Demand energy companies take responsibility for Black coronavirus deaths.

Banks must stop underwriting racism. JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon took a knee in solidarity with Black lives. Bank of America is providing $1 billion to support racial equality. Yet, banking while Black often leads to racial profiling, denial of mortgage loans, and higher loan interest rates.11 These dehumanizing acts are rooted in age-old racist practices that have perpetuated the generational wealth gap that has many trying to make ends meet in the face of the current economic downturn. If banks are serious about supporting Black lives, demand these institutions address the lack of Black staff representation and the practices that underwrite racism.

Corporations bear responsibility for the violence, harm, and discrimination Black people face, whether they carry it out, enable it, or profit from it. The racism they engender and enable impacts every aspect of our lives, from record unemployment to massive consumption and corporate greed.12 We will not allow the near-largest civil rights movement in history to be downplayed by hollow corporate statements.13  Jeanne, join us as we demand corporations go #BeyondTheStatement in correcting the harm their policies and business models cause Black employees, families, and communities.

Until justice is real,

—Jade, Rashad, Arisha, Johnny, Amanda, Evan, Imani, Marie, Samantha, Eesha, Marcus, FolaSade, Eesha, Jennette, Ciera, Gabrielle and the rest of the Color Of Change team


  1. “As Big Corporations Say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ Their Track Records Raise Skepticism,” The Washington Post, June 13, 2020,
  2. “Black Workers Face Two Of The Most Lethal Preexisting Conditions For Coronavirus—Racism And Economic Inequality,” Economic Policy Institute, June 1, 2020,
  3. “Nike’s Colin Kaepernick Ad Isn’t the First Time the Brand’s Commercials Have Made a Social Statement. See Some of the Most Memorable Campaigns in Its History,” Business Insider, September 7, 2018,
  4. “How Michael Jordan’s Nike Deal Changed Sports Marketing Forever,” Edgar Daily, September 12, 2018,
  5. “U.S. Companies Cut Thousands Of Workers While Continuing To Reward Shareholders During Pandemic,” The Washington Post, May 5, 2020,
  6. “Whites Are Mainly To Blame For Air Pollution, But Blacks And Hispanics Bear The Burden, Says A New Study,” The Washington Post, April 12, 2019,
  7. “Disparities in the Impact of Air Pollution,” American Lung Association, accessed April 29, 2020,
  8. “Coal-Fired Power Plants Disproportionately Impact Communities of Color says NAACP,” Earth Island Journal, November 15, 2012,
  9. “Higher Coronavirus Mortality Rates For Black Americans And People Exposed To Air Pollution,” Forbes, April 7, 2020,
  10.  “Polluted US Areas Are Among Worst-Hit By Coronavirus – Putting People Of Color Even More At Risk,” The Guardian, April 14, 2020,
  11. “‘Banking While Black’: How Cashing a Check Can Be a Minefield,” The New York Times, June 18, 2020,
  12. “Black Unemployment Rate Rises While White Joblessness Falls,” Bloomberg, June 5, 2020,
  13. “Black Lives Matter May Be the Largest Movement in U.S. History,” The New York Times, July 3, 2020,

Color Of Change is building a movement to elevate the voices of Black folks and our allies, and win real social and political change. Please help keep our movement strong.

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