End the duopoly

Costco and Boeing, commit tens of millions to social justice programs

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Workers leave Boeing’s Renton plant. In another sign of the growing impact of this summer’s protests over racial injustice, two of the state’s biggest companies are putting tens of millions of dollars into social justice initiatives.

Costco will put $25 million into a fund to support Black-led financial institutions and community development initiatives, the Issaquah-based retailer announced Friday.

Boeing announced $10.6 million in investments in nearly two dozen nonprofits and other programs focused on “racial equity and social justice.” Among them is Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, which will receive $2.5 million to expand health care access for children in Central and South Seattle.

The big-dollar moves follow a June announcement by Amazon of a $10 million donation for similar initiatives.

All come as escalating national protests over police violence toward Black Americans are pushing even normally low-profile corporations to take public, substantive stands on difficult questions around race and equity.

“Major corporations and organizations are being pressured … to engage on issues where, historically, the wise thing to do was to just put your nose down and do your work,” said Lawrence Parnell, an expert in strategic public relations at George Washington University.And, critically, where many early corporate responses to the protests […]

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