The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn., profoundly impacted the world. It propelled a movement as individuals and organizations reflected on the impacts of systemic inequities and asked what actions could be taken to address them.
As a company headquartered in the community where George Floyd was killed, 3M has a responsibility to honor his memory by increasing our efforts to drive long-term change. While diversity, inclusion and equity have long been values at 3M, we know we need to work harder and more intentionally to break down barriers and accelerate our support of social justice. With greater equity comes a better future for our employees, customers, shareholders and community.
Acknowledging that 3M doesn’t have all the answers when it comes to social justice, we have listened to our employees as well as our community leaders and nonprofit partners, seeking outside perspectives to inform a path forward of partnership and solidarity.
These actions are the direct result of those conversations.
As a global science, technology and manufacturing company, we believe 3M is uniquely positioned to bring our full capabilities to power racial equity and inclusion in our workplace and communities through two Platforms for Change:
3M has a long tradition of philanthropy and volunteer initiatives that progress STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) equity and skilled trades as bridges of opportunity. We are increasing our support through a plan to invest $50 million over five years to address racial opportunity gaps through workforce development and STEM education initiatives.
Recognizing the integral role of our nonprofit partners in the community, the 3M Community Coalition was formed to bring forward community leader voices and help advise on plans for steering this $50 million investment to make the biggest impact. The 3M Community Coalition includes eight Minnesota community leaders from government, nonprofits and the education sector, including Mayor Carter of Saint Paul, Minn.
Our first commitments were focused in the Twin Cities and included:
More than 5,000 members of the 3M community came together for a panel discussion about the impact of George Floyd’s death and our next steps to combat systemic inequity and racism. Our CEO Inclusion Council — leaders who focus on action planning for inclusion and diversity initiatives at 3M — also held listening sessions and candid conversations, inviting 3Mers to speak up about the support and social change they needed. We continue to purposefully create space for 3Mers to voice their experiences and learn about inclusion advocacy.
In addition, 3M has partnered with the nonprofit Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) to hold workshops about advancing racial equity and continuing transparent dialogue. This included:
3M leaders have been intentional about listening to our employees, especially those in our Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino communities. These conversations have fostered greater understanding and provided clarity on our progress and path forward. Every step of the way, our Employee Resource Networks (ERNs) have taken on instrumental roles as leaders, influencers and advocates. See 'Powered by inclusion' for more information about our ERNs.
Following the death of George Floyd, global ERNs came together to acknowledge its impact, listen to each other and help enact change. Leaders from 3M’s African American Network (AAN), Latino Resource Network (LRN) and Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) spoke at an internal global listening event. AAN and WLF co-sponsored a virtual event featuring an award-winning author who talked about how to have productive conversations about race. And in November, chairs of the AAN and LRN spoke about racial equity at 3M’s virtual Global Inclusion Day event.
Fourteen ERN leaders (two of whom are pictured above) also helped select the grant recipients of the 3M Foundation Social Justice Fund. ERNs will continue to be involved in the selection process for $1 million annually in grant funding. In 2020, four nonprofits each received a $250,000 grant: NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Neighborhood Justice Center, Penumbra Center for Racial Healing and YWCA Saint Paul.
As we advance our social justice and equity initiatives with urgency, we know systemic change requires resources and long-term dedication. 3M created a new Equity & Community organization to support our goals and commitments to progress equity in our workplaces, business practices and communities globally.
This holistic and cross-functional organization connects our teams and strategies across the following areas:
Operating as one organization, these teams become more than the sum of their parts as they accelerate and amplify our bold vision for 3M and our communities.
On Dec. 15, 2020, James Momon became 3M’s first vice president, Equity & Community and chief equity officer. A dedicated social justice leadership role was also introduced earlier in the year, with Garfield Bowen becoming 3M’s first director of Social Justice Strategy & Initiatives on Aug. 1, 2020.
Our new Equity & Community organization