The Alice L. Walton Foundation and Walton Family Foundation has set up a $1 million fund for LGBTQ advocacy groups in Walmart's home state of Arkansas.
Arkansas Community Foundation, a separate, independent nonprofit that specializes in making grants for various social needs, will distribute the funds as grants.
The fund was created as a response to the Arkansas legislature's proposals to inhibit LGBTQ civil rights—especially the rights of transgender youth and young adults—in the state.
Among those is a law that bans gender affirming health care interventions for young transgender persons.
Tom and Olivia Walton said in a joint statement, “Our state is in a moment of reflection where each of us must send a message of acceptance to the LGBTQ community that says, 'You belong here.'”
They continued, “It is also a time for action by recognizing LGBTQ Arkansans face growing challenges that need community-driven solutions.”
Community foundations are common throughout the U.S.
They pool resources from philanthropic individuals and organizations, targeting money toward the most pressing causes in an identified service area.
For example, the Chicago Community Trust helps direct funds to Chicago-area needs. The Evanston Community Foundation does the same in Evanston, Ill.