Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Honors The Contributions And Determination Of African Americans Yesterday And Today

Partnership with “Pursuit of Happyness” inspiration Christopher Gardner and in-store promotions celebrate accomplishments of African Americans throughout Black History Month


BENTONVILLE, Ark., Feb. 5, 2007 – This February, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is proud to celebrate Black History Month by honoring the diverse contributions of African Americans to society. As part of the celebration, Wal-Mart encourages its associates and customers to be “in the company of greatness” and reach for their own personal extraordinary goals.

Illustrated by the life and success of Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for Will Smith’s character in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” Wal-Mart will host a media series, “In the Company of Greatness,” to encourage others to pursue happiness and achieve excellence. The series will commemorate the accomplishments of African Americans, such as Gardner, who have persevered against all odds to reach their goals and highlight the significance of leaving a legacy for others.

Gardner, an author and entrepreneur, will appear in print, radio and television ads broadcast in Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations nationwide, as well as additional media outlets. Gardner’s story of every day triumph portrayed in the book “The Pursuit of Happyness” can be found at stores and Clubs throughout the country.

“Each of our lives is history in the making and each person can accomplish extraordinary things every day,” said Esther Silver-Parker, senior vice president, diversity relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Gardner is a prime example of how you can turn a negative experience into achievements that lead to greatness. As our country recognizes Black History Month, Wal-Mart is proud to commemorate the legacy of African American history makers and their contributions to communities nationwide.”

Wal-Mart values diversity and has a tradition of supporting all cultures, which allows the company to better connect with associates, suppliers and customers. Additional in-store efforts throughout the month of February and beyond will offer customers the opportunity to inspire, educate and promote the heritage of African Americans:

  • The seventh complimentary publication of Wal-Mart’s “Profiles in Pride” booklet, featuring prominent African American faith leaders and faith-based organizations, highlights the impact of various ministries in communities around the country, including
  • Bishop T.D. Jakes, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Bishop Eddie L. Long, Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer and the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. The booklet, which was developed in partnership with Kraft Foods, also notes several perspectives on the influence of the black church in today’s society.
  • The annual Black History Month Timeline keepsake, focusing on African American artists and the Black Art Renaissance, is a fold-out timeline featuring artists such as Gordon Parks, Henry Tanner, James Van Der Zee and Faith Ringgold. The timeline, developed in partnership with Colgate-Palmolive, will cover various eras, including the colonial, antebellum and Civil War, the 1950s and 1960s, and the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, black art galleries on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ campuses will be highlighted.
  • As part of its continued efforts to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fight for equality, Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs will broadcast television and radio public service announcements (PSAs), encouraging support of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to be built in Washington, D.C. These PSAs will air in more than 3,800 locations and be televised in select markets, reaching more than 127 million customers every week throughout the month of February.
  • Customers will be able to participate in meet-and-greet sessions with Randal Pinkett, winner of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” season four at select Wal-Mart stores nationwide. 

The complimentary “Profiles in Pride” booklet and Black History Month timeline are available at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Copies can also be obtained by calling 1-800-421-8871.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America.  The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally.  Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $245 million to local United States communities.  To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmart.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

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