BENTONVILLE, Ark., January 30, 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a long tradition of supporting diverse communities throughout the year. This February, the company is proud to celebrate Black History Month 2008 and honor the living history of African-Americans. As part of this recognition, Wal-Mart will highlight the meaningful historical and contemporary contributions of African-Americans. Wal-Mart will also feature an advertising series – including print, radio and television advertisements – encouraging African-Americans to live history today.
“Each day African-Americans make history and share their legacy in communities across this country,” said Esther Silver-Parker, senior vice president, diversity relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “As individuals share their personal stories and accomplishments, they encourage others to make a difference in their own communities. As our nation celebrates Black History Month, Wal-Mart is proud to recognize the African-Americans who have and continue to make history today.”
To celebrate Black History Month Wal-Mart will host several in-store activities:
• Each week throughout the month, stores across the country will feature demonstrations to highlight health and wellness, books, music, food, beauty, and skin care products that serve the needs and preferences of African-American customers.
• To encourage customers to learn more about African-American history, GEEBEE’s Black Heritage Series™ games and puzzles will be available for purchase in more than 600 Wal-Mart stores. Beginning Monday, February 4, GEEBEE’s Black Heritage Trivia Game will also be available for purchase on Walmart.com. The game series, which includes the “Black Heritage Trivia” game, “My First Matching” game, “I Can Do Anything” game and assorted puzzles by famed African-American artist Annie Lee, integrates positive historic role models and cultural identities to foster greater self-esteem among African-American youth.
• Wal-Mart is proud to support the theatrical release of “The Great Debaters” by promoting its movie trailer among shoppers in stores nationwide on Wal-Mart’s in-store TV network.
• Complimentary inspirational materials, including the eighth annual publication of Wal-Mart’s “Profiles in Pride” booklet, the annual Black History Month Timeline keepsake and other educational resources will be available to customers in select stores throughout the month and available at www.walmart.com/blackhistory. This year’s Black History Month timeline will highlight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and their roles in the African-American community. The 2008 “Profiles in Pride” booklet will showcase HBCU marching bands. Additionally, the booklet pays tribute to Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club associates who graduated from HBCUs.
Wal-Mart’s support of African-Americans extends beyond the walls of its stores and clubs into the community. To help preserve African-American history, the Wal-Mart Foundation donated $250,000 to the Museum of African-American History, New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of 19th century African-Americans. The company’s grant will assist in the restoration and re-opening of the museum’s African Meeting House, a national historic landmark in Boston and the oldest existing black church built by free African-Americans in the United States.
Wal-Mart is also committed to helping to provide educational opportunities for all, including the African-American community. Efforts include:
• Recently, the Wal-Mart Foundation announced its support of Wiley College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Texas featured in the movie “The Great Debaters.” The company donated $100,000 for an endowment of the Melvin B. Tolson Scholarship Fund in honor of the college’s nationally recognized debate team.
• Wal-Mart maintains a long-standing relationship with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) through the “Strive for Excellence” scholarship program for first-generation college students attending public HBCUs. Additionally, Rollin Ford, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. executive vice president and chief information officer, currently serves as a member of the TMCF board. The Wal-Mart Foundation this month donated $95,000 to support the development of a strategic plan that will guide TMCF’s IT development over the next five years. Long-term results for the organization will include an improvement in TMCF’s fiscal health and business efficiency, enhancing its ability to serve approximately 47 member colleges and more than 232,000 students.
• Wal-Mart also supports the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) through services and fundraising. President and CEO Lee Scott serves as a member of the organization’s board of directors, and the company’s Associate Giving Program allows associates to donate a portion of their salary to organizations, including UNCF.
To learn more about Wal-Mart’s 2008 Black History Month celebration, play an exclusive interactive online version of GEEBEE’s Black Heritage Trivia Game, or to download materials, visit www.walmart.com/blackhistory on February 1, 2008.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at http://www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit http://www.walmartfacts.com, http://www.walmartstores.com, or http://www.walmartfoundation.org.