Caterpillar Foundation donates $1 million to fight racism

Caterpillar foundation

The Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar, has announced it will donate US$1 million to help fight racism and social injustice.

The donation will be split evenly between two organizations.  

The Caterpillar Foundation will give US$500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative, which is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment, challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting fundamental human rights for the most vulnerable in our society.

As well, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. will also receive US$500,000. The organization seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equity for all Americans.

“Caterpillar supports the fight against racism and injustice,” said Caterpillar chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby. “Caterpillar and the Caterpillar Foundation look forward to working with the Equal Justice Initiative and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to help build a better world.”

The Caterpillar Foundation will continue investing in community programs that address the destructive effects of racism and the fight for equal justice.

Through its existing U.S. Matching Gifts Program, the Caterpillar Foundation is also matching employee and retiree donations to eligible organizations that are most important to them, their families and the communities in which we live and work in the fight against racism and social injustice. 

In a letter to Caterpillar employees, Umpleby also addressed the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, which have led to widespread protests and calls for systemic reform throughout the United States.

“People of colour in the United States are too often denied basic human rights that many of us take for granted. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and have access to equal justice. Racism has no place in a civilized society,” Umpleby said in the letter.

I know many of you are also dealing with your own range of emotions in response to these recent events, and others might be struggling to fully understand the anger and frustration we are witnessing in communities across the country. These tragedies present us with an opportunity to listen and work to understand the experiences and perspectives of those who have suffered the destructive effects of racism.”