Arlington, VA
Press Release

Arlington Accepts $100,000 Amazon Gift for Racial Equity Efforts

By: Arlington County

October 21, 2020

The Arlington County Board today accepted a $100,000 donation from Amazon to support the County’s efforts to advance racial equity.

The donation will help support the County’s Dialogues on Race and Equity, community conversations that are part of Arlington’s broader commitment to racial equity. The virtual conversations will offer opportunities for individuals, local faith groups, civic organizations, and community leaders to learn about and address ways in which Arlington can be a more equitable and inclusive place.

Amazon has committed to hosting racial equity conversations, training members of its staff to facilitate those conversations, assisting the County in reaching out to the community to encourage participation and promoting the effort within the Arlington business community.

“We welcome Amazon’s commitment to join Arlington County in the hard work of achieving racial equity, and thank them for their financial support,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said. “True change requires the participation not only of County government and our public schools, but also the private sector and our entire community to build systemic equity. I hope that other businesses will follow their lead.”

Amazon is thankful for the leadership of the County Board and proud to partner with Arlington on these important efforts,” said Brian Huseman, Vice President of Public Policy at Amazon. “We look forward to being an active participant in these conversations and supporting Arlington’s vision of creating a community where each person is valued and has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

The County has made a commitment to prioritize racial equity in its decision-making and in developing and implementing policies, practices and procedures.

The Board voted unanimously to accept the gift. To read the staff report for this item, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 49 on the agenda for the October 20, 2020 Recessed County Board Meeting.

Background

The County Board adopted an Equity Resolution in September 2019 that defines equity as “all populations having access to community conditions and opportunities needed to reach their full potential and to experience optimal well-being.” Thirteen County government and Arlington Public Schools staff members participated in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Government Alliance for Race and Equity’s 10-month racial equity program.

In July 2020, the County named its first Chief Race and Equity Officer, under the County Manager’s direction, to lead, coordinate and oversee work to advance racial equity throughout County government, in partnership with the community.

Amazon is building its East Coast headquarters on a 6.2-acre site in Pentagon City’s metropolitan Park. The 2.1-million sq. ft. mixed-use project is being built at 1232-1450 S. Eads St. and 501 and 525 15th Street S.

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