This message was shared with Mastercard employees on June 4, 2020.
We hear the call that Black Lives Matter, and we wholeheartedly agree. Racism is against everything we stand for as a company, as a community, as individuals who strive to live peacefully, joyfully. The recent tragedies in the U.S., building on a long history of racial prejudice and injustice, are heartbreaking, frustrating and demand action.
Here’s what we stand for:
Opportunity and Inclusion, and giving people the access to the networks they need to live up to their potential. We’ve worked with the National Urban League for over a decade and are making a new $5 million donation to support their mission of enabling African Americans and other underserved communities to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights. And, to make it simpler for others to donate as well, the Urban League is now live on our new donation platform.
Inclusion of all people has been a long-standing focus of ours and the partnerships we have developed. Through the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and other initiatives, we have accelerated our efforts to fund research, help shape policy recommendations, lend data science to help rebuild distressed communities and support minority entrepreneurs. It’s not just about a grant or philanthropy, it’s about how we mobilize all our assets as a company to build a more inclusive economy and society for the long term. Exclusion doesn’t just harm the excluded. It holds us all back.
Within our walls, we’re also looking hard at our hiring and talent development practices to make sure we’re creating the right opportunities at all levels for our team members of color. We’ve made progress, but we’re not done. Key to our efforts is our global inclusion strategy for employees, partners and suppliers.
Open dialogue, and creating safe spaces for you to speak up and speak out. We know that many of you are hurting, many of you are tired and many have a strong desire to take action and support your fellow colleagues. We’ve had many conversations with our LEAD (Leading Employees of African Descent) Business Resource Group over the past few days, and they’ve told us so.
This Friday, we’re expanding the conversation with a virtual all-employee Open Circle event hosted by Chief Inclusion Officer Randall Tucker. We invite you to share your perspectives, ask questions and provide input to inform and direct our actions moving forward. This can be done anonymously to ensure the free flow of ideas. And please note that this is just one avenue for discussion. Reach out, check in and stay connected.
Let us be clear: whether you are sharing in word or in deed, such as millions of peaceful protesters across the country, know that we are listening and you have our support.
Community, and fostering decency and connectedness in how we operate internally – and around the world. Community engagement and doing good are central to this. In 2018, we expanded our MC Cares program so that all employees receive five Volunteer days to give back, and we encourage you to take this time to invest in your communities. And remember that there are many organizations working hard to create change that can use your financial support; through our company match, we drive even bigger impact. To further the work they’re doing, beginning later today, we are instituting a 2:1 match for select civil rights organizations listed on MC Cares until July 31.
We look forward to hearing your ideas this Friday on other ways we can support the passion of our many colleagues to realize the change we desire in our communities.
Above all, we stand for Acceptance. That means saying unequivocally that the unequal treatment of the Black community and other people of color is wrong; that it must change; and that we will use our energies and resources to drive meaningful progress.
Earlier this week, Ajay Banga and Tim Murphy shared their feelings in messages that truly reinforce the significance of this moment. Their words underscore the importance of living our values and not letting them just be words on a page – “the core of what unites us at Mastercard is our commitment to decency: how I treat you and how you treat me."
This is too important to be relegated to one blog post, moment or hashtag. The conversations and the actions from this week cannot and will not stop here. We want to hear from you – and determine, together, what else we can do today and into the future.
It’s going to take a lot more talking, a lot more listening. And a lot more action.