Getting to Zero:
Zero Discrimination Day and Open to All
Days of awareness are not merely about how far we have to go; they are also a celebration of how far we’ve come. The communities we’ve managed to impact in the interim, the conversations we’ve had about powerful current events and the relationships that we’ve been able to build despite our physical isolation from one another are worth elevating. As we celebrate Zero Discrimination Day and its call to “celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life — and live it with dignity,” to push forward in the fight against discrimination of all kinds, we are recommitting today to our efforts to educate and to advocate against discrimination in the business sector as we push towards a more compassionate and inclusive society.
Since its inception in 2017, Open to All has committed itself to a simple ethos: all people should be welcome in a place of business and that, when a business opens its doors to the public, it should be open to all. That means welcoming everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, immigration status, religion or disability. In just over three years, we have grown to over 500,000 business partners, both large and small, in addition to our Public Education Coalition, which includes 200+ nonprofits.
Today, we welcome four new members to our national movement to end discrimination. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), J. Crew Group, Inc., DICK’S Sporting Goods and American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (AEO) join us as partners in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
As we continue to have conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion, Open to All companies of all sizes have gone the extra mile to show that everyone matters. From the inception of diversity scholarships and pledges to legal funds to studies that validate the inequities that Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) have been stating exist in the retail sector for years, our businesses have spent the past year backing their words with action and communicating to their customers and communities alike that all are welcome, even when all too often, people are telling them that they aren’t.
To help our members achieve these goals, we have provided businesses large and small with a number of tools to succeed:
- We co-produced a Respect & Inclusion e-Learning video and business resource toolkit. We teamed up with Yelp to distribute the video and an array of diversity, equity and inclusion resources to 500,000 businesses.
- We briefed businesses on how the pandemic impacted communities of color. Twenty-five major Open to All businesses from across the country committed to addressing racial disparities by signing on to an Open to All letter urging the business community to examine and to work to combat the disparities and discrimination that have caused the COVID-19 global crisis to disproportionately impact Black, Latinx/Hispanic and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
- When our country was having important and long overdue conversations about hate violence and ongoing injustice experienced by the Black community, we worked with our coalition to issue a powerful statement calling on the business community to do more to end systemic racism.
- We are partnering with Sephora to implement actionable solutions with retailers to reduce racial discrimination as illustrated by Sephora’s large-scale study on Racial Bias in Retail.
Though we continue through uncertain times, it has become apparent now more than ever that businesses can and should lead the way on anti-discrimination; in a society that hinges on the relationships between employee and customer, client and vendor, businesses occupy much of public engagement and imagination. With the social and political capital to affect change, this fight for an end to discrimination is not purely legislative or grassroots. It requires every single one of us, from the biggest to the smallest. As we reflect on and celebrate Zero Discrimination Day together, please share how you’re working to eliminate discrimination and why you too are #OpentoAll.