Grey: University Zumbi dos Palmares’ Receipts to Keep Fighting

Hand holding up receipt

Grey: University Zumbi dos Palmares’ Receipts to Keep Fighting

Uniting businesses to tackle racism and ignite change

Cases of racism in Brazilian businesses skyrocketed by 800% from 2020 to 2022, resulting in numerous lawsuits and 251 confirmed deaths. One prevalent form of racism in the retail environment was the unjust requirement for black individuals to show receipts when leaving stores, leading to the receipt becoming a symbol of racism itself.

In response, Grey Brazil helped University Zumbi dos Palmares, the country's only institution dedicated to Black inclusion, launched the Racismo Zero programme. The initiative was aimed at combatting racism through a multi-pronged approach. This included educating and training employees on how to call out and tackle racism in retail spaces, awarding an ‘anti-racist’ seal to companies with no reported cases, and providing a platform for incident reporting and emotional support.

To raise awareness of the initiative and encourage businesses to join, an impactful out-of-home campaign was launched. Billboards showcased real receipts from victims who were forced to prove their innocence when falsely perceived to have stolen items from stores. The billboards also invited companies to participate in the Racismo Zero programme, encouraging them to address racism in their establishments.

The initiative garnered support from influential figures within the Black community its and allies, with the “anti-racist” seal being backed by the Public Ministry and Procon, the national consumer reporting service. On social media, the campaign reached 16.9m people who collectively encouraged companies to join the initiative to receive the seal. To date, major companies like P&G, Cielo, AB-InBev and Carrefour have joined the programme, representing 320,000 employees and a supply chain of 8m people, including suppliers, distributors and business partners.

In just a short timeframe, the Racismo Zero programme has become a beacon of hope in the fight against racism within Brazilian businesses. With its multi-pronged approach, it has successfully challenged the systemic injustice faced by Black individuals in retail spaces. As the Racismo Zero programme continues to expand its reach, the campaign stands as a symbol of unity and progress, forging a path towards a more inclusive and equitable future.