“This is a time that we must love our neighbors more than we have ever done before, with greater empathy than ever before.”
– Dan T. Cathy, Chairman & CEO
Words are not enough, and they sometimes aren’t the right words, but we want to say something.
Racism should have no place in society. Not now, not ever. It cannot be tolerated.
Our hearts are breaking, for our Black Team Members, Operators and Staff and all those in the Black community who are suffering and who have suffered for too long because of racism.
At Chick-fil-A, we know we have a role in moving all of us forward.
We will listen.
We will be intentional.
We will share.
We will act to build bridges — to spread care and hope into our world — today and always.
Published Wednesday, June 3
Chick-fil-A, Inc. Announces New Focus for Annual True Inspiration Awards
Restaurant Company Quadruples Commitment to Black-Led Nonprofits and those Serving the Black Community
Applications are now open. Learn more.
Chick-fil-A, Inc. has announced a new ongoing focus for its annual True Inspiration Awards. In addition to other gifts benefiting communities of color, for 2020 Chick-fil-A, Inc. will award $5 million in grants to nonprofits that are Black-led and those serving the Black community. The annual giving commitment quadruples last year’s True Inspiration Award grants.
“The recent highly publicized and horrific deaths of Black men and women have rocked our nation and shed light on the injustice, systemic racism, and disparities that Black people endure daily,” said Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. and executive director of the Chick-fil-A® Foundation. “As a company, we are making a pledge to take action against racial injustice. The True Inspiration Awards have always been a platform to give back locally where our restaurants serve and by redirecting our grants to organizations supporting communities of color, we believe we can make an impact.”
Nonprofits can apply for the grants on the Chick-fil-A website later this summer or can receive a nomination from a local Chick-fil-A restaurant Operator based on the group’s work in its local community. Chick-fil-A guests will also be able to participate in the selection process by casting their votes online in November. Award recipients will be announced in January.
About the True Inspiration Awards
Last year deserving nonprofits received a combined $1.2 million in donated grants to further their work. Now in the seventh year, the True Inspiration Awards were created to carry on Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy’s legacy of generosity, community service and dedication.
Updated Thursday, July 30
Personal thoughts from Dan
“I am tired.” I’ve heard this phrase too many times in my private conversations with Black friends and colleagues, in the last 72 hours.
What I have come to understand is that they are tired of the violence, abuse and injustice. They are tired, because no amount of kneeling or marching seems to truly address what has ailed our country for generations: A controverted view of race which is sometimes overt and sometimes subtle but always destructive.
“Use your privilege.” This is another phrase I hear over and over. To whom much is given, much is required.
I recognize that someone like me cannot fully appreciate and understand the gross injustices that are all around us. I also recognize that talking about the systemic inequality, bias, and injustices in our country will draw criticism. But neither of these reasons makes it ok for me to remain silent about the issues that now so publicly confront our nation. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and many others is horrifying and merits our outrage. We should also address the disparate impact of COVID-19 on Black and brown communities, as well as the disparity in educational opportunities and access to opportunity. Nobody talks about it enough, because this is someone else’s problem. I have observed injustice, inequities and blatant indifference to these real problems.
There are countless academics and analysts who have written about how our democratic capitalism benefits only a few hundred incredibly wealthy families, individuals and corporations, so that the American dream is now reserved almost exclusively for them and their descendants.
Because I am among that demographic, I am calling on them — us — to use our power and influence.
A few years ago, I became bothered that the most distressed zip code in Georgia, right next door to the prosperity of downtown Atlanta, was being left behind. So, I committed to use my own power and influence with policymakers and friends to turn their attention to the inequities happening in our local community. Together, we bolstered our financial investments in the redevelopment of the Westside of Atlanta, the historic home of Dr. King. The work is ongoing. We have opened a Chick-fil-A restaurant on Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in the shadows of Morehouse College. The store is led by owner-operator Quincy Springs, a Black Army veteran. We have invested in Morehouse College, Community health clinics; the At-Promise Center which serves at-risk young people helping to guide them into a brighter future; the Hollis Innovation Stem Academy; and housing through Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, we host a gathering every other Friday on the Westside to pray and intentionally plan the equitable re-development and renaissance of that community. It is one of the most diversely represented and action-oriented gatherings in town.
What else might we do? There are several ways we can use our power and influence.
Despair and hopelessness have always been a part of the human experience. In the book of Nehemiah, found in the Old Testament, we read about the conviction of the cupbearer of the king, who became aware of the plight of his people in Jerusalem. His conviction moved him to action to be a catalyst for the renaissance in his homeland.
The most dangerous person in the world is a person with no hope. Let’s open the door to dialogue and healing.
It’s ok if it’s messy.
It’s ok if tears are shed.
We are human.
Let’s be moved to action. Let’s join together to build a world that reflects God’s love for all of us.
From Dan's LinkedIn post on Tuesday, June 2