Written by:
Fern Johnson, Sr. Director, Global IT, Texas
Brandi Ray, Sr. Director Marketing, Texas

In the midst of the global coronavirus crisis, PepsiCo’s mission To Create Smiles With Every Sip And Every Bite and showing up for our communities has never been more important.

That’s why we could not be more proud that PepsiCo is donating $7 million to help support Black and Latino communities in the U.S. who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The mortality rate for Black and Latino people combined is more than twice their white counterparts. This disparity only worsens at the local level. In Milwaukee County, for example, Black populations account for 26% of the population, but 70% of coronavirus deaths.

Mosaic Chairs Fern Johnson and Brandi Ray share Donation by PepsiCo Foundation to Back Communities affected by COVID-19
We could not be more proud that PepsiCo is donating $7 million to help support Black and Latino communities in the U.S. who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Additionally, the economic effects of COVID-19 are falling unequally on these communities. In April, 16.7% of Black Americans were out of work, compared to a national rate of 14.7.

As two Black women, these statistics hit close to home. We know many family members and friends who have been impacted by or ultimately succumbed to the virus. It is sad when our loved ones get sick, and even worse when we cannot host the proper home going services that reflect how many of us interact and grieve in our culture.

The reality is that Black communities aren’t disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 solely because of our ethnicity. The impact they have been enduring reveals and amplifies the inequities in our society.

We see that and we understand that, which is why this struggle is so personal.

It is also why we, as longtime associates of PepsiCo, are proud to witness the company we work for step up and act on behalf of our community and other communities that have been hit similarly hard.

Mosaic Chairs Fern Johnson and Brandi Ray share Donation by PepsiCo Foundation to Back Communities affected by COVID-19
The reality is that Black communities aren’t disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 solely because of our ethnicity. The impact they have been enduring reveals and amplifies the inequities in our society.

The work PepsiCo is now doing to support Blacks and Latinos fits right in with the commitment to engage with and serve the communities where we do business. As we reflect on our journeys here at PepsiCo, we are reminded of the great PepsiCo leaders whose shoulders we all stand on today. From Allan McKellar, part of the first all-African American sales team in the 1940s, to Harvey C. Russell, the first corporate-appointed vice president.

We are reminded of more recent Black PepsiCo leaders like Ron Parker, retired Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, and Randy Melville, retired Senior Vice President of Sales for Frito-Lay North America, and countless others. These are the giants that showed us the importance of partnering with and championing support of the Black community, and the importance of being a servant leader.

Indeed, PepsiCo’s deep history of diversity and inclusion fuels our commitment to the company. It also inspires us as leaders of the Mosaic Employee Resource Group (ERG). As Black members of society, MOSAIC stands together to say this donation makes us feel seen and heard. We will further support PepsiCo’s impact on our community and all communities during this crisis, and beyond. And we ask all our colleagues to join us in these initiatives. Together, we can create a path forward that ensures our community, country, and world will emerge stronger and more unified than ever.


To learn more about what PepsiCo is doing to help our consumers and communities, click here.

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