Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.


This year, we are proud to be honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by supporting local communities and providing our employees the resources to help give back. Observed on January 17, 2022, Martin Luther King Jr. Day represents an opportunity to both honor the civil rights leader's life's work and extend ourselves to the communities we serve— a commitment and value that has long been part of who we are. For the second year in a row, we are providing all employees with a paid holiday to use as a day of service.  

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr's. fight for civil rights, racial equity and social justice we have curated several experiences for employees that are focused on civic engagement and are in service of the Black community. These volunteer opportunities offer time and location flexibility to meet employees where they are.  

  • Transcribe important documents from Black history through the Smithsonian Freedmen's Bureau Transcription Project   
  • Host mock interviews with students through Year Up  
  • Additional volunteer opportunities will be made available through Nordstrom charitable partners, including Big Brothers Big Sister, National Urban League and Good+Foundation, among others. 

Through our partnership with the Smithsonian Freedmen's Bureau Transcription Project, employees have the chance to transcribe more than 1.5 million image files from the Freedmen's Bureau records—the largest crowdsourcing initiative ever sponsored by the Smithsonian. We have invited our employees to help transcribe original records. This project will help build an understanding of the post-Civil War era and knowledge of post-Emancipation family life.  

"The records represent an unparalleled resource for understanding the post-Civil War South and the experience of more than 4 million newly freed African Americans in their transition to freedom and citizenship," shared Smithsonian Program Coordinator Caitlin Haynes. "Smithsonian digital volunteers are ensuring that this important history is accessible, improving our collective understanding of the Reconstruction era and allowing individuals to locate their ancestors in the historical record."

For this day of service and throughout the year, Nordstrom matches employee volunteer time at $15 per hour as part of our Employee Charitable Match and Volunteer Programs. Helping our employees personally give back to the causes that matter to them is core to our corporate philanthropy program. We aim to invite and increase participation across the company over time. 

While Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated to honor the legacy of one of the most significant civil rights leaders of our country's history, we must also use this time to reflect on the actions we take year-round to foster a more inclusive company for our employees, customers, partners, and communities we serve. In 2021, our employees volunteered more than 19,000 hours with over 300 different non-profit organizations. By 2025 we aim to increase employee volunteer participation to 250,000 hours annually. We have also committed to doubling our charitable giving to nonprofit organizations that promote anti-racism, bringing that total to approximately $1M per year for the next five years.