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This year, businesses around the world have stepped up and participated in the fight for social justice.

By donating millions to COVID-19 relief or using their resources to increase voter turnout, the private sector has made significant contributions to building a better community during a year plagued by disease, economic crisis, and social unrest.

Now, there’s an opportunity for the leaders of the corporate world to continue leveraging their influence to help build a more just and equal world for all. 

The Business Leaders for Justice Coalition is a new initiative that will bring together CEOs, senior executives, founders, board members, and justice experts who are committed to prioritizing justice and equity in their leadership roles. 

The initiative aims to transform the private sector into an environment where justice systems solve and prevent the problems that matter most to people, rebuild trust and cohesion, and mitigate the intergenerational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global Citizen launched the initiative digitally on Wednesday with Pathfinders, the Responsible Business Initiative for Justice, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.

The launch also served to announce the Justice Imperative Principles, marking the beginning of the campaign for business leaders to join the movement. The principles recognize that the “the question is no longer whether business should stand up for justice, but how.”

When COVID-19 began to wreak havoc on the global economy, 92% of businesses globally pivoted to focus their response on protecting their workforce. Within three weeks of George Floyd’s murder, 75% of large US public companies made some effort to respond to calls for racial justice. These percentages show that an overwhelming majority of the private sector is willing to embrace social justice as part of its responsibilities. 

Throughout 2020, Global Citizen has heard from many corporate partners that they want to engage with and tackle the most pressing societal issues, such as racial injustice and health inequities. The Business Leaders for Justice Coalition serves as a first step in providing an avenue for them to come together and effect change. Working with the private sector to fill the justice gap worldwide is an essential element to recovering better together in 2021.

With their resources and influence, leaders of the private sector have the potential to make a real difference in improving the world in which we live. More than 80% of executives feel that business — with its scale, speed, and insight — is in a unique position to solve today’s most pressing problems.

Consumers feel the same way. More than 7 in 10 consumers in the US believe that companies have more responsibility than ever before to address social justice issues. Globally, 74% of consumers believe CEOs should take the lead on social justice rather than wait for government action.

As the world recovers from the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 over the next few years, businesses will be essential to ensuring that the process to achieving a more just and equal world is efficient and sustainable.


Defeat Poverty

This New Initiative Calls on Business Leaders to Advance Justice and Equity Worldwide

By Kristine Liao