Volkswagen Group shows racism the "red card"
- Volkswagen is corporate partner of the "Stiftung für die Internationalen Wochen gegen Rassismus" (Foundation for the International Weeks Against Racism) for the first time
- Nationwide weeks of action from 13 – 26 March
- Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Müller supports the "Prominent figures against Racism" initiative
- Employees photo campaign: "I am against Racism"
- Joint events with VfL Wolfsburg football club at their next home game
The Volkswagen Group is supporting the "International Weeks Against Racism", an initiative of the United Nations, for the first time this year. As a high-profile business partner, Volkswagen Group is supporting the German Foundation with a donation and at the same time is sending out a clear signal against discrimination and xenophobia with many of their own events. Group-wide, employees of all brands, subsidiaries and locations throughout the world are showing their faces for this good cause as part of a photo campaign. The Chairman of the Board of Management Matthias Müller was himself photographed for the campaign at the fringe of the Motor Show in Geneva. He spoke critically about discrimination and intolerance and demanded: "Every decent person must stand up in protest!"
As part of the initiative, Matthias Müller supports the "Prominent figures against Racism" project, which is also supported by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. "If you keep silent for too long, you shouldn’t be surprised when things which only yesterday seemed so cast-iron start to slip", explained Müller about the commitment. He also stressed the importance of interculturalism and internationality for the Volkswagen Group: "Our diversity is in Volkswagen’s DNA. Cooperation in inter-cultural and multi-ethnic teams around the world – whether on the factory floor or in the office – is based on genuine respect and tolerance", said Müller. So Volkswagen is as intolerant of racism as of other forms of discrimination in everyday work: "There are clear rules of conduct, and infringements are punished – up to and including dismissal!"
In football as well, discrimination is frequently an issue. When VfL Wolfsburg hosts Darmstadt 98 on 18 March, the match will therefore be flanked special events. “We are 100% against racism and 100% for human dignity” will be shining on the T-shirts of the player escort children. Banner advertising and an article in the stadium magazine will support the initiative.
The Foundation for the International Weeks Against Racism coordinates this Germany-wide commitment by the different partners. As well as the Volkswagen Group, other companies and numerous cities, municipalities, non-governmental organisations, associations and groupings are also involved. Nationwide more than 1,000 accompanying events are also expected to take place again this year during the campaign weeks. Jürgen Miksch, Director of the Foundation: “We are very pleased, that Volkswagen actively supports our initiative this year.”
The International Weeks Against Racism memorialise an event in Sharpeville, South Africa. On 21 March 1960, a peaceful demonstration there in response to an apartheid law was brutally suppressed and 69 people were killed. In 1966, the United Nations declared 21 March as the "International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination". Over time, the campaign weeks have grown out of this.