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Diversity at REI

I find it telling that your drop down menu does not contain anything relevant to diversity.  
 
I live in the Detroit metro area.  The closest REI store to my home is the store in Troy MI store.   I am concerned with the lack of diversity I have observed for the last 15+ years at your Troy MI store.  I visited "our" Troy store earlier this week to pick up a few skiing items.  As well, I purposely circulated through the entire store noting each REI employee.  In the entire store, there were ZERO people of color employed and working.  My observation leads me to believe that REI hiring practices are discriminatory based on my observations of the make up of "our staff."   Whether purposely or not, the results of REI's hiring practices for the Troy MI store is that racial makeup of the store's employees does not represent that of Detroit or the Detroit metro area. 
 
The city of Detroit and the people of the city could use the help of the REI board.  I would like the REI board to consider the following action :
 
1. Establish hiring practices with the goal of achieving a workforce that is representative of the Detroit metro area at each of "our" Detroit metro area stores. 
 
2. Establish an REI store in the city of Detroit !!!!  Not only could this store support the ongoing revitalization of Detroit, it could also serve as a community outreach center helping people experience the outdoors and wilderness.  In addition, this store could also be situated such that mass transit could be used to visit the store as well as via bicycle.  
 
I do not think REI should be an organization that  appears to only supports white people living in the metro area of Detroit.  I do not believe the REI board does either but currently REI is operating this way in the metro area of Detroit.  
 
I would challenge all REI members to take a look at the hiring practices at your local REI store during your next visit.  Is the REI work force hired by REI representative of your community?  
 
As well, are the REI stores in your community placed in areas that are friendly to mass transit and bicycle access or are the stores only accessible via your car in distance suburbs?  
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@markfranchett1 one of the things we most appreciate about our online community is the ability to hear directly from our members about their ideas, suggestions, kudos and concerns - thank you for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback to us.

Back in July, we made a commitment to fight for racial equity - you can read that statement in the Co-op Journal - and we recently posted an update to the July article, which outlines our goals and progress so far relative to our enterprise-wide racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) initiative. 

Throughout this work, we will be examining our real estate and hiring policies and practices among many others. We will examine our approach to site selection and how it supports not only our social impact agenda but also the future of our business. In addition, later this year, we look forward to sharing with our employees, members and partners our goals and actions to increase the diversity of our workforce.

We recognize that this may not be a gratifying response for you today, but we assure you that both of these topics are high on our priority list in 2021 as we work to develop strategies and actions to address opportunities for impactful change. In the meantime, please remain engaged, vocal and solution-oriented! 

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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Hi Jen,

You mention above "the  future of our business."   What is the business of the REI Co-op?   Is REI basically a outdoor equipment version of Newman's Own where the principle focus is generating funds to support selected charities or is it something else?  I am wondering how to provide feedback.   I have belonged to food Coops in the past where the focus has also been on what would benefit the members. 

Thanks,

Mark

 

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@markfranchett1 likely the best place to read about the business of the co-op is on our "About Us" page on REI.com, which includes additional links to different parts of our business. In terms of providing feedback, you can certainly do that here in the community (we're listening and forwarding comments along all the time!), or you can email publicaffairs@rei.com. Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.
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good point

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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