USA – Global beverage company, Diageo has announced the creation of the Diageo Community Fund with a commitment of US$20 million to help address the urgent needs of Black communities and businesses who have been affected by Covid-19.

The alcoholic beverage company said that the new Diageo Community Fund will support businesses, consumers and partners integral to the hospitality industry in Black communities across the U.S.

Diageo explained that the Fund will provide a combination of targeted donations supporting advocacy efforts as part of the economic recovery from Covid-19, training for business owners and employees, relief aid and more.

In addition to providing economic support, Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive of Diageo said that the new Fund also reinforces the company’s commitment to inclusivity, diversity and zero tolerance for racism and injustice.

 “Diageo has no tolerance for racism, injustice and unequal treatment. We stand together with the Black community in this defining moment,” Ivan said.

“We are committed to taking every step necessary to champion equality everywhere and, while we have made progress, there is so much more to do. The Diageo Community Fund is just one of many steps we will take on this journey.”

Diageo has long-standing partnerships with the National Urban League and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and has already pledged over $1 million to these organizations and 100 Black Men of America, Inc., to support their work for racial equality and social justice.

Diageo also announced recently to its employees that it will double its existing matching program for charitable donations made during the month of June, contributing two dollars for every dollar contributed by employees.

The beverage firm added that its African Heritage Employee Resource Group (A.H.E.A.D.) will continue to help the company focus on the priorities and actions that will make the most meaningful impact to the Black community, both inside and outside of Diageo.

“The fact that racial injustices are daily occurrences is tragic. And it must change. And that change needs to start with each of us, in our families, communities and businesses”, said Deirdre Mahlan, President, Diageo North America, “We must use the pain of this moment to redouble our resolve.”

Diageo plans to announce specific investments from the Fund in the coming weeks.

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