Protesters Decry Market Of Choice For Not Allowing BLM Masks

Jun 29, 2020

Dozens of people protested outside of Market of Choice in Eugene Monday.

Protesters in the parking lot of Market of Choice at 29th and Willamette in Eugene Monday.
Credit Anni Katz

They want the store to allow employees to wear masks that say “Black Lives Matter”. Market of Choice released a statement today / yesterday [Monday] that said the restriction on wearing BLM masks or other apparel is “simply a dress code issue.” The company says no one has been terminated for wearing a BLM mask, despite reports to the contrary.

The company says it is making efforts to make change in their organization to better support the Black community, vendors and employees.  

StatementJune 29, 2020

At Market of Choice, we support our Black Community, Vendors and Employees. Not allowing employees to wear a Black Lives Matter mask is simply a dress code issue, similar to most other retailers. No one has been terminated for wearing a Black Lives Matter mask, despite reports to the contrary.

Since our CEO Rick Wright released a message on June 12th, we have taken the following actions that we believe will create real change within our organization:

  • Store Managers met with nearly every team member – 1,300 at all stores. These discussions have inspired ideas for how we can enhance our contributions and support our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Communities.
  • We are increasing the size and representation of our Equity and Inclusion Committee (EIC).
  • The EIC is working on expanding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training to all employees with an emphasis on understanding racial bias, injustice, equity and civil rights. 
  • We are partnering with organizations across Oregon to expand our combined outreach and support of BIPOC businesses.
  • We’re working to develop a streamlined process to onboard more BIPOC food and beverage producers by bringing in products that meet our merchandising goals. 
  • We’re working to expand our outreach and recruitment of BIPOC Team Members, as well as BIPOC Candidates for our management training programs. 
  • And more actions are currently in the works.

Thank you to our employees for engaging in conversations, providing feedback and getting involved in supporting our BIPOC Communities. As Rick Wright says, “The only way forward is to work together.”