A Target Corporation diversity official, Kiera Fernandez, recently urged “White women” to take action against what she called “systemic racism” in the United States, and she also revealed that the retail giant was basing some of its internal decisions on demographic forecasts.
Since George Floyd died in 2020, Target has increased its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) activities. The Racial Equity Action and Change team at Target, chaired by Fernandez, was formed to “accelerate” these initiatives. The group’s efforts are concentrated on increasing the number of Black clients and expanding the number of Black staff. The retail behemoth stated its intention to boost the current Black workforce demography by 50%.
In July 2022, Target’s HR director Fernandez informed that the company had grown its investments with Black-owned companies and suppliers (including advertising, construction, facilities maintenance, and more) by 50% since 2020.
She then suggested that “White women” had a responsibility to speak out when they witnessed “transgressions.”
In the wake of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements of the past decade, many businesses and educational institutions have pledged to create more welcoming environments for people of all backgrounds. According to a survey conducted by WorldatWork of 656 firms, 83 percent of those responding have already implemented some form of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program.
Right-wing critics have pushed for a boycott of businesses that support DEI programs, with the latest example being Chick-fil-A, whose years-old announcement of its commitment to DEI and its hiring of a vice president of DEI resurfaced on Twitter on Tuesday and became the target of a right-wing backlash.
Chick-fil-A’s chairman and former CEO Dan Cathy was caught on camera three years ago shining a Black man’s shoes onstage at an Atlanta church during a discussion about racism; the gesture, which was meant to “put words to action” in repenting for racism, was criticized as “bizarre” at the time and further infuriated the chain’s critics.