Walmart is encouraging its employees and customers to "honor the life and legacy of Dr. King" on Monday by donating to the company's online Day of Giving matching campaign.
The MLK Day of Giving effort, which encourages everyone to meet the needs of others in their communities, follows a tumultuous year marked by nationwide demonstrations calling for racial justice and ending police brutality.
The retailer announced in a blog post that the online giving campaign will support the Walmart Spark Fund for Charities at Charities Aid Foundation of America. The retailer pledged to match any donation from U.S. Walmart, Sam’s Club and brand associates as well as its customers until 11:59 p.m. Monday.
Walmart will match up to $4 million, approximately $2 million for associates' donations and $2 million for customers'.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that greatness comes through service," the company wrote."In honor of his servant leadership, the third Monday in January has become recognized as the MLK Day of Service and is intended to be more of day 'on' than a day 'off.'"
However, Walmart isn't the only corporation encouraging its employees to help those in need on the federal holiday.
JCPenney is also encouraging its "associates to spend today volunteering in their communities."
Ben Hasan, Walmart's chief global culture, diversity, equity and inclusion officer, says the campaign is part of the company's larger efforts towards addressing "the drivers of systemic racism in society and accelerate change."
Over the past year, many companies have stepped up commitments to address systematic racism. Some have pledged tens of millions to organizations working to fight racial injustice while others had created numerous initiatives to increase diversity within their own workforces.
As part of its own efforts, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over the next five years through a new Center for Racial Equity.
"The center will particularly focus on eradicating systematic disparities experienced by Black and African American communities in the United States," Walmart said.