Home Live trainings Major companies had ‘woke’ formations on display in 2021

Major companies had ‘woke’ formations on display in 2021


Big business found itself in hot water in 2021 as whistleblowers exposed what they claimed were employee training sessions steeped in critical race theory.

Disney, Coca-Cola, American Express, Bank of America, Lowe’s and Pfizer have been accused of training employees in certain “woke” ideas, such as placing “marginalized” staff above “privileged” staff, learning to “decolonize ‘their mind'” and combat aspects of a so-called “white supremacist culture”, such as perfectionism, individualism and objectivity.

These ideas date back to critical race theory (CRT) – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to uncover systemic racism beneath the surface. Current and former American Express employees told Fox News that the change began after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020, but the “woke” formations came to light in 2021.

Teleprinter Security Last Change Change %
KO THE COCA-COLA CO. 57.92 +0.04 +0.07%
moo LOWE’S COS. INC. 222.18 -2.00 -0.89%
AXP AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. 167.90 -1.70 -1.00%
DFP PFIZER INC. 50.27 +1.07 +2.17%


In February, a Coca-Cola whistleblower claimed the company was forcing employees to take a seminar teaching them to “be less white.” The whistleblower posted photos from a seminar giving advice to ‘be less white’, including ‘be less arrogant, be less confident, be less defensive, be more humble, listen, believe, break with the ‘apathy’ and ‘breaking with white solidarity’. The documents claimed that white people in the United States and other Western countries are “socialized to feel inherently superior because they are white.”

Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland, October 8, 2020. (Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Still, Coca-Cola told Fox Business that the slides “are not part of the company’s learning curriculum.”

Coca-Cola President Alfredo Rivera apologized for the situation in March.

“Recently, we learned that the content accessible through our corporate training platform did not align with ‘being’ respectful to all,” he said.

Although this material is not part of the training curriculum, Rivera said, “We apologize to those who have been offended by this content. We will never encourage anyone to be less of themselves.”

In March, Manhattan Institute Principal Investigator Chris Rufo revealed whistleblower documents from the Walt Disney Company’s diversity and inclusion program “Reimagine Tomorrow.” The program includes several training modules on “anti-racism”.

The modules tell employees to “own the training [themselves] on anti-black structural racism.” The modules claim that the United States has a “long history of systemic racism and transphobia” and that white employees must “work through feelings of guilt, shame, and defensiveness to understand what lies beneath them and what needs to be healed. Another module encourages employees to reject ‘equality’ by focusing on ‘equal treatment and access to opportunity’, and instead seek ‘equity’, focusing on ‘equal results “.


Disney did not deny the formation but insisted whistleblowers took it out of context.

Teleprinter Security Last Change Change %
SAY THE WALT DISNEY CO. 131.75 -1.89 -1.41%

“These internal documents are deliberately misrepresented as reflections of company policy, when in fact their purpose was to allow for a diversity of thought and discussion on the incredibly complex and difficult issues of race and discrimination that we face. are facing as a society and businesses nationwide,” the company said in a statement.

FILE – A screen displays the logo and a ticker symbol for The Walt Disney Company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Dec. 14, 2017. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid) (Reuters pictures)

In August, Rufo released internal documents showing that American Express subjected its employees to a series of critical race-theory training sessions that encouraged staff to rank themselves on a hierarchy of “privileges” and apply that hierarchy to the workplace, the most “privileged” employees relying on staff from “marginalized groups”.

During trainings, external consultancy Paradigm urged Amex employees to construct their own intersectional identities, mapping their “race, sexual orientation, body type, religion, disability status, age, gender identity [and] citizenship” on an official company worksheet. Employees could then determine whether they have a “privilege” or are members of a “marginalized group”. Whites, men, heterosexuals, Christians, able-bodied persons and citizens would presumably be considered “privileged.”

Training sessions also warned white employees to avoid certain phrases, such as “I don’t see color,” “We’re all human beings,” and “Anyone can be successful in this company if they work hard enough. hard”, such as “microaggressions”.

At a high-profile “anti-racism” event, Amex executives invited Khalil Muhammad, a great-grandson of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, to speak about “race in corporate America.” He argued that capitalism was rooted in racism and that “racist logics and forms of domination” have shaped Western society since at least the Industrial Revolution. He even argued that the credit card company should lower standards for black customers and sacrifice profits in the interest of race-based remedies.

“If American Express cares about racial justice in the world, it can’t just say the market is going to define how we price certain customers, who come from low-income communities,” he said. “If you want to do good, then you’re going to have to put in place products and [product] lines that do not maximize profit. »


In September, five current and former AmEx employees — speaking on condition of anonymity — told FOX Business that the company selects black people for promotion in a practice that former employees have described as discrimination against countdown against White. Employees did not present internal documents to demonstrate an official policy, but they said they witnessed a disturbing trend that raises questions about racial discrimination in promotion. A former employee said he quit because critical trainings on race theory and the apparent promotion of employees because of skin color sent the message that white employees could not even be expected to be considered for a promotion.

American Express denied the accusation in a statement.

“We have a high-level culture and are proud of our dedicated and highly engaged colleagues,” an American Express spokesperson told FOX Business. “Advancement within our company is based solely on the performance of individual companies and leaders. Any characterization to the contrary of our company and our culture is simply wrong.”

The statement also claimed that the company’s “diversity, equity and inclusion programs” focus on maintaining a commitment to “a diverse and inclusive culture where all colleagues feel welcome and heard and have equal opportunity to thrive, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation and nationality.” The programs “are not based on any specific theory, nor are they aimed at a specific group of employees”.

In August, Rufo revealed documents showing that Bank of America, Lowe’s and Truist Financial Corporation sponsored a United Way “Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge” critical race theory claiming that America is systemically and institutionally racist, encouraging participants to “decolonize” their minds and “wake up to work and urging white people to “hand over power to colored people.”

The 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge included a document with responses to potential objections. If participants ask about reverse discrimination, the guide pretends that it does not exist. The document also asserts that people of color cannot be racist: “Racism is used to justify the position of the dominant group, white people in this case, and to defend white supremacy and superiority. intolerant behavior towards other perspectives. But racism is by definition a form of oppression exercised by the dominant racial group (white people).


Bank of America spokesman Bill Haldin told FOX Business that his company does not endorse these ideas and does not conduct its own employee trainings along these lines.

“It wasn’t our curriculum or our training material,” he said. “United Way operated this program independently of Bank of America, and it is not part of our training materials.”

Lowe’s and Truist Financial did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has set a goal of filling a percentage of leadership positions with black and Hispanic candidates by 2025, in the name of fighting “systemic racism”. In September, FOX Business reported on an environmental, social and governance (ESG) study 2020 reportpublished in March 2021, in which Pfizer set “opportunity parity goals” for 2025. These goals include “increasing the representation of our minorities from 19% to 32% and doubling the underrepresented population of ‘African Americans/Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos’.

The report includes a letter from Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, in which Bourla says he is “proud” to have “set concrete goals to address systemic racism and gender equity challenges in reviewing and augmenting our plans to increase diversity and equal opportunity in 2025, with a particular focus on increasing the representation of women and minority Americans at leadership levels.”

“We now have quotas, basically, on hiring and promotions,” said a current Pfizer employee, who spoke to FOX Business on condition of anonymity. The employee said the company hosts events with Ibram X. Kendi and encourages employees to read books written by Robin DiAngelo, two prominent CRT supporters.


“We don’t have quotas as part of our hiring process,” a Pfizer spokesperson told FOX Business. “We maintain our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts with respect to our human capital. We strive to make Pfizer as diverse as the patients and communities we serve.”