TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Hudson's Bay Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its new social impact platform, Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change. 351 years after HBC was granted its Royal Charter, the company’s Foundation is marking the anniversary with a new one: a promise to accelerate racial equity by changing how it invests in communities. Hudson’s Bay Foundation is committing $30 million over 10 years to organisations working to advance racial equity and inclusion, through three key areas of focus: Education, Employment and Empowerment. This commitment starts today with our first five charitable partners: Indspire, Black Youth Helpline, CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals, CPAC Foundation, and MLSE Foundation.
Through this initiative, Hudson’s Bay Foundation aims to impact more than 300,000 lives through programs run by its partner organisations. This begins with scholarships and bursaries for First Nations, Métis and Inuit students pursuing post-secondary education, empowering Black youth with career readiness and training programs in high-demand fields, and using sport to teach life skills that empower racialized communities and improve academic engagement and workplace readiness.
“Racial equity is one of the most urgent issues facing society, and through Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change our goal is to create tangible and measurable change that makes a difference in the lives of Canadians,” said Iain Nairn, President and CEO of Hudson’s Bay. “With our own 350-year company history that in the past included discrimination and inequity, we have a responsibility to take action and drive progress in creating a fair and equitable Canada for all.”
About our Charitable Partners
As a national partner, Hudson’s Bay Foundation will provide funding for four distinct Indspire programs through financial support for post-secondary education, student mentorship, and professional development for Indigenous educators. Committed to the long-term social and economic well-being of all Indigenous communities, Indspire supports and inspires First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada to reach their highest potential. “I am thankful that the Hudson’s Bay Foundation has made the commitment to invest in Indigenous education. This generous support will provide First Nations, Inuit and Métis students an opportunity to pursue their dreams.” - Mike DeGagné, President and CEO of Indspire
Black Youth Helpline
Hudson’s Bay Foundation will support Black Youth Helpline’s current services and enable the organisation to scale its Stay-in-School initiative in 15 school districts annually, impacting 128,000 lives by 2030. The Stay-in-School program works with youth, school districts and families to keep kids in school to build successful and productive futures. "We are incredibly grateful for this commitment. Now more than ever, there is a need to support, empower and extend a hand toward Canada's most disadvantaged youth. With funding from Hudson’s Bay Foundation, Black Youth Helpline will build on its longstanding Stay-in-School Initiative focused on helping youth remain and succeed in schools.” - Barbara Thompson, RN, BN, MEd, Founder/Lead
CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals
Hudson’s Bay Foundation will become the sole title sponsor of two new career training programs at CEE Centre For Young Black Professionals, which empowers the next generation of Black professionals with the skills and networks needed to overcome systemic barriers and enter high-demand fields through on-the-job learning and industry exposure. These programs will up/reskill 30 participants annually for gainful employment, specifically in the fields of Costumes & Styling and Cyber Security. “In a time when many are struggling to find good jobs, these funds will be utilized to create jobs within the entertainment sector as well as Information Technology for Black Youth that are furthest from the labour market in Toronto. We are excited to see these young people thrive as we continue to stay committed to building the capacity of individuals and the Black community.” - Agapi Gessesse, Executive Director at CEE
CPAC Foundation helps immigrant professionals with their licensure, skills upgrading, employment, professional and leadership development, cultural integration and accessing international business opportunities. CPAC also advocates on issues important to Chinese Canadians, with the goal of achieving the full potential of a diverse and inclusive Canadian society. “The recent surge of anti-Asian racism is hurting our communities deeply. The Hudson’s Bay Foundation grant comes at just the right time to help us address this urgent issue. It will greatly boost our capacity to educate and empower the most vulnerable populations in a practical manner.” - Andi Shi, Executive Director at CPAC Foundation
MLSE Foundation’s Change The Game initiative is focused on supporting the education, employment and empowerment of racialized youth across Ontario through sport. Hudson’s Bay Foundation will be a leading sponsor of Change The Game, helping youth facing barriers to recognize and reach their potential. MLSE Foundation is the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, that fights for racial equity in Canada by levelling the playing field for all kids. “We are honoured to work with Hudson’s Bay Foundation to use the power of sport to tackle systemic barriers. Their contributions to our Change The Game campaign will help level the playing field for thousands of youth in our city and province and give them more equitable opportunities to recognize and reach their potential.” - Tanya Mruck, Executive Director, MLSE Foundation
Hudson’s Bay has initiated additional efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in the organisation. A DEI leadership position was created to advise the executive team and develop the strategic framework for the business go forward. Four employee resource groups have since launched: ONYX, IMPACT, OUT & ABOUT, and WOMEN @ HB, and in Jan. 2021, Hudson’s Bay signed the BlackNorth Pledge to address unconscious bias and anti-Black systemic racism. In May, a phased, comprehensive education program will roll out, with the goal of every Hudson’s Bay associate participating in Indigenous cultural awareness training by the end of the year.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY FOUNDATION
Hudson’s Bay Foundation is a registered charity, working to address racial inequality by investing in education, employment and empowerment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, Black People and People of Colour. In 2021, Hudson’s Bay Foundation launched the Hudson’s Bay Charter for Change, committing $30 million over 10 years to accelerate racial equity in communities across Canada. By partnering with organisations doing critical work under its three pillars, Hudson's Bay Foundation provides funding for programs and initiatives driving meaningful and sustainable change.
ABOUT HUDSON’S BAY
Hudson’s Bay is a digital-first purpose-driven retailer helping Canadians live their best style of life. As one of the country’s most iconic brands, Hudson’s Bay operates 88 full-line locations and thebay.com featuring Marketplace -- the 5th largest e-commerce business in Canada. Hudson’s Bay has established a reputation for quality and style through an unrivalled assortment including fashion, designer, home, beauty, food concepts and more. The Hudson’s Bay Rewards program is ranked second in department store loyalty programs in Canada. Hudson’s Bay operates under the HBC brand portfolio. Founded in 1670, HBC is North America’s oldest company. The signature stripes are a registered trademark of HBC.