In celebration of National Black Business Month, Foot Locker, Inc. announced that it invested close to $54 million in the Black community in 2021, reports NBC News. The sneaker giant has pledged to provide $200 million to the Black community.

The investment was a part of Foot Locker’s Leading Education and Economic Development Initiative (LEED).

Established in June 2020, the initiative “aims to expand programming for Black students while increasing efforts to work with Black businesses including nonprofit groups, vendors and creatives.” 

“Our commitment to the Black community goes beyond words and is part of how we do business,” Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Richard Johnson said in a statement. “Through strategic investments, community partnerships, and opportunities that empower, we are taking actionable steps to drive meaningful and lasting change both within our organization and in the communities we serve.” 

Since its inception, the program has aided Black entrepreneurs and creatives by investing $17 million in Black-owned brands including Abeille Creations, which collaborated with Foot Locker to design custom athletic apparel. Additionally, LEED invested $10.8 million with seven Black-led venture capital firms and vendors, such as Obsidianworks, Michael B. Jordan’s media and marketing agency.

In addition to offering financial support to Black businesses, Foot Locker has provided financial support for its Black employees and students. The company added 10 annual scholarships to its $50,000 scholarship program for its store associates. Also, the Bridge Internship program was launched to help store associates transition into corporate positions. A financial literacy program was also established.

Foot Locker has also partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to provide scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 to 25 community organizations to empower Black communities in 19 cities around the globe. 

“The past few years have been difficult for young people— particularly in Black and Brown communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” LISC CEO Lisa Glover said in a statement. “In establishing this program, Foot Locker, Inc. has recognized the ongoing impact of systemic racism, prioritized the needs of teens and young adults, and committed capital to on-the-ground strategies that directly address the local challenges. We are grateful for their thoughtful engagement in these important issues.”