JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Swisher International has launched a new "Inclusion, Diversity and Transformation" strategy to help create meaningful and lasting social change.
Many companies have had similar initiatives following nationwide protests and calls for racial justice sparked by the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a police officer on May 25 in Minneapolis.
“It’s abundantly clear that our country and corporate America are long overdue in addressing racial inequality,” said John J. Miller, president of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based tobacco company. “We’re going to do our part at Swisher by redefining the work we do in three core areas: business, education and civic participation. Additionally, we’re creating a new Inclusion, Diversity and Transformation strategy that builds sustainable plans to help the community and the brand within each of the three core areas.”
Swisher hired Alexandria Deal to the newly created role of manager of inclusion, diversity and transformation. She will be responsible for recognizing, creating and implementing plans to promote diversity and help develop programs to support each of the core areas of focus.
Swisher will also expand its relationship with NIMBUS, a multicultural strategic and communications firm.
Additional goals of Swisher’s new strategy include:
- Increase awareness about diversity and inclusion to ensure Swisher provides a welcoming environment for all employees.
- Partner with multicultural groups and organizations to help advance the strategy’s goals.
- Create opportunities for Black-owned businesses.
- Work with historically Black colleges and universities.
- Create sustainable corporate and field career opportunities for minorities within the organization.
A business incubator for Black-owned companies is also set to launch in 2021 to offer Black-owned businesses development resources.
“Through our research and discussions, we learned that while new Black-owned businesses encounter similar problems to all start-ups, they also face their own unique challenges including a need for mentorship, capital access, research and product distribution,” Miller said. “The goal of the incubator project is to provide unique solutions and opportunities to Black entrepreneurs, startups and small business owners.”