According to foreign reports, Altria group will donate US $5 million to solve the systematic racism faced by black Americans and promote social and economic equality. These funds will be used to support national and local organizations working in the United States and in communities where Altria operates, and to provide immediate support to small businesses in corporate communities affected by recent disruptions.
"This is a tough time and we have to find ways to accommodate our differences, solve potential systemic problems and move forward as a country," said Billy Gifford, chief executive of Altria group. We know we don't have all the answers, but we will learn by listening to different colleagues, community members and others, because we seek progress within the company and where we call home. "
Altria group will also launch a one month employee donation campaign, which will match all employees' donations in a ratio of two to one. Unifi, Altria's black employee resource group (ERG) and other ERG's will select the recipient organization. Altria group also announced a company wide paid "Rehabilitation Day" on June 19 to give employees time for personal reflection and rehabilitation.
Matthew L. Myers, chairman of the smoke-free children's movement, saw Ochia's donation as "shameless hypocrisy.".
"Today it announced a $5 million donation to African American organizations, and Altria, the Marlboro manufacturer, is once again trying to distract people from the huge harm it has caused, and continues to cause decades of harm to the health of the target African American in the long-term marketing of mint cigarettes." He said.