PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Giant Eagle is donating $350,000 to support social justice causes, temporarily closing its stores for “discussions about personal experiences” and stopping sales of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
On Wednesday, Giant Eagle said the company and the Giant Eagle Foundation partnered to contribute $350,000 to support social justice causes amid worldwide protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
“We at Giant Eagle have taken time to self-reflect on what we as individuals and as an organization must do to stand up against racism and social injustice. Words are important, but they are not nearly enough. The time for action is now,” a post on Facebook reads.
The company also said it is closing Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo locations between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Saturday to “engage our team members in a discussion about our personal experiences and what steps can be taken to affect change in ourselves and in our communities.”
The meeting will be an opportunity for all 36,000 of the company’s team members to discuss their responsibilities as individuals, and as an organization to stand up to racism and social injustice.
“I think it’s awesome, I think it’s needed,” said Richard Rosell, of Monroeville. “It’s a long time overdue. I grew up in the area… and racism has always been here.”
Giant Eagle will also halt sales of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette “due to recent actions by the publication.”
“These measures will remain in place until the publication demonstrates an equal commitment to all those in the communities it serves,” the Facebook post says.
The Newspaper Guild of Pittsburgh released a statement condemning the “unrelenting mistreatment” of a black reporter who was barred from protest coverage.
Alexis Johnson says she was barred from protest coverage because of a viral “thought provoking” tweet the newspaper told her was biased.
A black photojournalist, Michael Santiago, says he was also pulled from the protest coverage.
Giant Eagle says its critical that the company upholds the values its defined for 90 years.
- READ BURRIS’S FULL LETTER: “An open letter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette”
- READ THE NEWSPAPER GUILD’S FULL STATEMENT: Newspaper Guild Condemns Unrelenting Mistreatment Of Black Reporter
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s executive editor published an open letter to its readers in response to the claims.
The original story said Giant Eagle would be closed from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday. The store will be closed from 7 a.m. – 8 a.m. The story has been corrected.