Corvallis Fred Meyer announces steps to address racial profiling local NAACP said occurred at the store

Lara Rivera, News Contributor

The Corvallis Fred Meyer released a press release on March 30 announcing its plan to partner with the Linn Benton branch of the NAACP to address alleged racial profiling at the store. 

This announcement comes in response to a press release from the NAACP on March 11 which highlighted the ways Fred Meyer had allegedly racially profiled Black women at its store, as well as a march held by the NAACP on March 12 to protest the alleged instances of racial profiling. 

The Linn Benton NAACP created a list of four demands for Fred Meyer to fulfill, including a public apology to all people who said they were offended by the Fred Meyer staff and a public commitment to a non-discriminatory approach to customer service; a meeting between Fred Meyer and the Linn Benton NAACP to further discuss the issues at hand; the retainment by Fred Meyer of a local equity, diversity and inclusion consultant and/or organization to facilitate required workshops for shift managers and regional managers concerning bias, equity and inclusion; and the design of a customer-facing protocol for shoppers to report discrimination, provide quarterly reports of the findings to local newspapers and display the quarterly reports on the Fred Meyer website.

According to the release from Fred Meyer, steps are being taken to “accelerate and co-create more just and equitable communities” in compliance with the third demand the Linn Benton NAACP presented.

Fred Meyer also said it is funding a program with the local NAACP to provide a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Framework of Action, which will be available for free to the local community. 

“Anytime we fall short of living our values, we apologize to those who were affected and commit to listening and learning,” stated Denis Gibson, president of Fred Meyer, in the press release. “We know that actions speak louder than words, and we remain committed to delivering on the promises of our Framework for Action to accelerate meaningful change in our culture and country.”

The press release also included a quote by Jason J. Dorsette, the president of the Linn Benton branch of the NAACP, acknowledging the apology from Fred Meyer. 

“Among the aims of the NAACP are to foster a social and economic environment free of racial discrimination, and to hold institutions accountable when they fail members in our community,” Dorsette stated. “To that end, we appreciate the apology from Fred Meyer and its acknowledgement of the harm that members of our branch experienced at their Corvallis and Albany stores.”

The Linn Benton NAACP said they look forward to facilitating bias, equity and inclusion workshops and trainings with consultants to make these changes in “meaningful ways.”

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