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Our Commitment to Action

June 9, 2020

Last week we committed to using our voice to be a positive force for change. We spent the past week educating ourselves and holding listening sessions with our team to understand a range of perspectives on what actions we should take. Today, we commit to action. We cannot stand by and simply just speak out. We must invest in sustainable and tangible solutions for social justice and racial inequality. In alignment with our values, we pledge to take specific actions in support of advancing Black communities and our Black Team Members. And we ask you to hold us accountable to what we do next, and what we continue to do in the years to come. We intend to be a positive and meaningful contributor towards the fight against racial inequality in this country. Keep voicing your voices, keep protesting, keep shining a light. Our Initial Commitments and Actions: Action 1: When it comes to the diversity of our team – we have much more work to do. We will set diversity goals and share our annual progress at the end of each year. To help us accomplish our goals, we will do the following:

  • We will formalize an internship and recruiting program with Howard University in our hometown of Washington, DC

  • We will begin focused efforts to recruit from the National Black MBA Association

  • We will require all Team Members to complete unconscious bias training

  • We will expand our current gender pay audit to ensure parity across diverse and non-diverse Team Members

Action 2: We will donate $50,000 to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which empowers Black students to get to and get through college each year, to thrive and become leaders. Action 3: Change is critically needed in our justice system, and specifically within elected officials at the local and state levels. We will donate $50,000 to Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Action 4: In 2018 we led the industry by offering paid time off to all Team Members to vote in the general election. Building on that commitment, we will expand our policy to offer paid time off for elections at all levels – local, state and federal. Action 5: We believe community action speaks louder than words and louder than simply writing checks. We are taking the following actions to hold ourselves true to our community values:

  • We will expand our current paid community leave policy for hourly Team Members from 1 to 2 days annually, which can be used for activism and community service.

  • For new restaurant opening Community Days, we will partner with local organizations that advance issues impacting Black communities. As we open La Jolla this week and Denver next week, we are partnering with the North San Diego County NAACP and the Colorado Center for African American Health.