Molson Coors Beverage Company today said it was recommitting its support of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) organizations dedicated to equity, empowerment, justice and community building in its hometowns and brewery communities across North America with grants totaling $1.5 million through its Project Justice initiative.
The announcement comes in concert with the release of the company’s annual environmental, social, and governance report, which details the progress it made in 2021 toward its people and planet goals.
Formed after the protests and civil unrest in the U.S. in 2020, Project Justice has cumulatively invested $4.5 million in dozens of nonprofit and community organizations. This year, Project Justice is earmarking more than $500,000 in completion grants that will enable students from underserved communities with unmet financial needs to finish their college degrees.
“As a company, we firmly believe equitable access to higher education and mentorship opportunities are crucial to closing the opportunity gap among BIPOC students in underserved communities,” said Molson Coors president and CEO Gavin Hattersley. “This year, we are proud to invest in more than 20 institutions dedicated to addressing educational disparities and creating a more diverse pipeline of future employees and leaders.”
Black and brown students have lower five-year college graduation rates than white students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. As these students take longer to complete their degrees, they take on more debt, which ultimately impacts their earning potential.
That’s why Molson Coors identified equitable access to higher education and economic opportunity as a key part of Project Justice, says Michael Nordman, senior manager of community affairs.
“Our goal is to help build career pathways that lead from education to employment,” he says. The company is partnering with more than 20 higher education organizations in Chicago, Denver, and Milwaukee.
Molson Coors also is supporting underrepresented students interested in brewing careers by increasing the number of endowed scholarships through the 10th & Blake Brewing Education Scholarship Fund to six. And in Canada, the company is seeding a scholarship for BIPOC students at the University of British Columbia, Canada’s second-largest and most diverse higher education institution. Full list of Project Justice beneficiaries is available at https://www.molsoncoors.com/project-justice.