Action, dialogue and change
A note from Al Kelly, chairman and CEO, Visa Inc
The pain, suffering and death of George Floyd is a terrible reminder of racism in America. A Black person should not be scared to leave their home, walk down a street, shop and enjoy the freedoms of our country. It has to stop. And it must stop. Social injustice and racial inequalities must come to an end.
The senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and other Black Americans should be a springboard to action, dialogue and change. We at Visa unfortunately cannot control all that happens in America, but we can certainly do our part. As a company we are on a journey to be inclusive and diverse. We have made progress, but not enough. Visa is committed to do more to help stop discrimination and racial injustice in America.
To that end, and as a start to this journey, we commit to five actions:
Establishment of Visa Black Scholars and Jobs Program
Visa will establish a $10 million fund to create a dedicated Visa scholarship assistance program over the next five years, specifically for college-bound Black and African American students. Upon graduation, all recipients who have met their commitments will be guaranteed a full-time job with Visa. This is an important step in making a long-term investment in Black and African American students, and increasing Black and African American representation at Visa.
Double Matching for Donations to Support Social Justice and Equality
We will double match Visa employee donations during the month of June, up to $1 million, to key organizations that support racial justice and equality:
- The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
- The ACLU, which provides legal services and support across a broad range of civil rights issues.
- National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice.
More Conversation as a Visa Community
Beginning with a community meeting hosted by our Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, we will hold a series of open forums for conversations on racial equality, race relations, inclusion, diversity and related topics.
Help for Colleagues Who Need It
We understand this is an extraordinary time of stress and challenge for our Black and African American employees. Visa is offering external support for this community through 24/7 counselling and referral services through our Employee Assistance Program.
Helping our Leaders Engage on Social Injustice
We are providing guidance and direction for leaders to facilitate meaningful ongoing dialogue with their teams, and specifically with Black and African American employees – to help ensure they are seen and heard, and that we continue to do the hard work of building an open and inclusive culture for all.
We are one Visa community united to do our part to improve our inclusion, increase our diversity and help each other cope in these terribly uneasy times. Together, we can be a powerful force for change.