A Letter from Mark King: Our Steps Toward Fighting Racial Inequality
As I shared in my last letter, we have a part to play in fighting the racial inequality in this country. Since then, we’ve been working hard to find ways to step up. I’m proud to share that, in partnership with Yum!, we are beginning to establish concrete plans and benchmarks to track progress.
Today, Yum! announced that it is committing $100 million over the next five years to fighting inequality and unlocking opportunity for employees and communities. Together, we will focus on three areas -- equity & inclusion, education and entrepreneurship -- to address inequality and the lack of access and opportunity that goes with it.
This is on top of Yum!’s $3 million donation to the American Civil Liberties Union and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, with $1 million going to community and social justice organizations selected by Restaurant General Managers at the brands.
Additionally, I want to share some of the ways Taco Bell, as a brand, is taking action and driving change from within our organization:
- Listening and Learning:
- Survey: Next week, we’re giving our Company Team Members the opportunity to participate in a survey to help us understand how they feel we're showing up as a brand as we work through the impact of both COVID and racial injustice in our world. We are hoping to extend this to the entire system, so we will keep you updated as we work through this.
- Listening Tour: We have already hosted virtual town halls with RSC and Company Field Leaders to discuss how recent events have impacted personal lives. Our Chief People Officer Kelly McCulloch, along with Yum!’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer James Fripp, will continue to host these discussions, inviting franchisee leadership and HR representatives to participate, so we can give Team Members the opportunity to express themselves and hear how we can do better.
- Training and Educating: We launched the ART unconscious bias training last year and some of you have implemented it. We're exploring how to make this important training available virtually and will have an update next month. Our hope is that we can see this implemented system-wide by end of year. We will share more on the next brand live stream.
- Implementing Change:
- Policy Review: We are ensuring that internal policies in our Company restaurants reinforce a welcoming and inclusive environment for every Team Member and customer.
- ERGs: Our Employee Resource Groups - Más Pride and Más T.A.A.C.O.S. - are aimed at creating communities in our RSC to provide further support and professional development for LGBTQ+ and Black colleagues respectively. We will launch a few more ERGs balance of year, and these groups will have specific plans for how they'll help us engage with our restaurant employees and continue to make Taco Bell a place for positive change.
As always, I appreciate and value your continued partnership. This is not a political matter; this is about humanity. Like many of you already doing amazing things to support your restaurant teams, I believe in change. There is power in our numbers. I am confident that we can come together and become the most inclusive restaurant company in the industry.
CEO, Taco Bell Corp.