Last updated on July 2nd, 2021 at 10:54 am
Molson Coors Beverage Co. announced this week it is awarding $1.5 million in grants to 33 organizations that fight racial inequality and support communities of color.
It’s the company’s second consecutive year of issuing $1.5 million in social justice grants through its Project Justice initiative, bringing its total gift across North America to $3 million.
Milwaukee-area grant recipients include the African American Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin, America’s Black Holocaust Museum, Milwaukee Urban League, MKE Fellows, Near West Side Partners, Sherman Phoenix Foundation and YWCA Southeast Wisconsin.
“Last year, we saw an outpouring of support for social justice. For us, that meant both looking within our organization and supporting external partners who were fighting for equity in our communities,” said Gavin Hattersley, president and chief executive officer at Molson Coors. “Our work is only beginning and we’re proud to recommit our support to more than two dozen action-oriented organizations that are working to tackle societal challenges to ultimately create a more just and inclusive world.”
Tami Garrison, community affairs director at Molson Coors, said it was important for the company to renew its grants to community organizations this year to demonstrate a long-term commitment to social justice.
“While Project Justice was born out of a moment in time in 2020, we definitely want this to be a movement and not just a reaction in 2020,” Garrison said.
Molson Coors made renewed gifts to some organizations from last year along with issuing new grants to first-time recipients.
The company’s $50,000 matching grant to the Sherman Phoenix Foundation will help Black entrepreneurs in Milwaukee. Garrison said Molson Coors has supported the north side entrepreneurial hub and food hall since its start, but the timing was right this year to make another investment in its recently launched nonprofit arm.
“There’s nothing like community partners coming together to uplift each other. We are so thankful for our partnership with Molson Coors,” said Oren Burks, Sherman Phoenix Foundation board treasurer and Green Bay Packers linebacker. “Their matching grant of $50,000 is going to leave a lasting impact on the black entrepreneurs in the Milwaukee area. We know we cannot do this alone; we need the help of our community to activate resources and further this great cause, and we call on individuals and other businesses to make a gift themselves.”
The company’s investment in MKE Fellows will support the organization’s internship, mentorship, career development and scholarship programs, which are designed to build a pipeline of young, Black male college graduates who return to Wisconsin to start their careers.
“I’m inspired every day by the community’s support to improve our city and Molson Coors is the latest organization to step up in support of MKE Fellows,” said John Daniels III, director of MKE Fellows. “Countless hours have been given to preparing these young men — now doctors, lawyers, and businessmen. We’ve been fortunate enough to continue to foster future leaders for over twenty years. And I’m excited for the world to see what they can do.”
Molson Coors is also funding its Tenth & Blake’s Brewing Education scholarship program for people of color and LGBTQ+ students seeking degrees in brewing and fermentation sciences, another initiative that emerged out of the civil unrest last year and a recognition of the lack of diversity in the industry. The scholarships support students at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M University, Middle Tennessee State University, Oregon State University and Colorado State University.