Our Wendy’s values demand that we Treat People with Respect and Do the Right Thing, and that compels us to play a part in addressing systemic racism
We know that we cannot achieve change on our own, but we intend to be part of the solution. A company advisory group consisting of Black leaders and others in our organization helped to identify and prioritize the right actions specific to the Black community to help our employees, our organization and our communities progress forward. We have established strategic external partnerships with organizations that are committed to eliminating racism and advocating for justice, equity and equality for all. In addition to the expansion of our existing partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), we developed partnerships with the YWCA Columbus and the Columbus Urban League. We also allocated a portion of our $500,000 donation to be directed by our employees to ensure Wendy's could support worthy causes throughout our global restaurant footprint.
Wendy’s began supporting the Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 2019. The group provides students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities with scholarships and opportunities for professional development, training and career management. In 2019, we also joined the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Leadership Institute, where many of our vice presidents and directors met and interviewed more than 100 students.
In July 2020, we brought our partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to life with a social media takeover. We handed over the “microphone” on our Twitter and Instagram accounts and they shared more about who they are, what they do and how our team at Wendy’s and our fans can make a difference.
Wendy’s partnered with the Columbus Urban League to develop Wendy’s Workforce Institute—a paid training experience for young adults in the Central Ohio community. Throughout the three-week virtual program, participants learn about Wendy’s from leaders within and beyond our restaurants.
Not only do participants hear about the value of starting and building careers at Wendy’s, but the Columbus Urban League provides valuable soft-skills and interview training. Upon successful completion of the program, participants are invited to complete an online application and schedule an interview with a member of our restaurant leadership team in the Columbus area. If hired, these new crew members get a “jump start” and are given five credits toward Wendy’s required training program.
"During Covid, Wendy's Workforce Institute gave young people an opportunity. Their parents may have lost jobs, they may have not been able to pay their rent or their utilities. People who weren't working couldn't buy food. It gave these young people an opportunity to be the economic providers for their families."
- Stephanie A. Hightower
President and CEO, Columbus Urban League
Wendy’s is proud to partner with the YWCA Columbus in support of its mission to eliminate racism and empower women. Wendy’s sponsored YWCA Columbus’ first virtual "Activists and Agitators" event. YWCA Columbus’ Leadership and Social Justice Team facilitated a racial equity training that empowered audiences with a foundational understanding of how racism is pervasive throughout our systems and codified throughout history.
Our investment in the YWCA Columbus Leadership and Social Justice Department helped to fund the launch of YWCA Columbus’ diversity, equity and inclusion training services. This collection of interactive trainings and conversations is now available to businesses and organizations in the Central Ohio Community who wish to increase their racial literacy, grow into anti-racism and develop strategies to address structural racism and advance racial equity.