Day of Understanding


LS&Co. Takes A ‘Day of Understanding’

Laura Wolfe, Unzipped Staff
Levi Strauss & Co.
May 10, 2021

On April 29, Levi Strauss & Co. celebrated its fourth Annual Day of Understanding (DoU) with a full day of powerful events as part of our commitment to CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which includes more than 2,000 organizations across 85 industries.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion challenges organizations like LS&Co. to dedicate one day to open dialogue with employees with the goal of sparking real conversation, inspiring change and moving the needle toward a more just and equitable world.

“It’s a day during which we listen to and learn from each other about our lived experiences, perspectives and challenges,” said Elizabeth A. Morrison, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer. “Our goal is to engage our employees in candid conversations to help generate empathy and build cultural competence in the hopes that this will propel and inspire us on our journey to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Our President and CEO Chip Bergh pledged our commitment to this cause in 2018, and each year we’ve built on it delivering new activations, speakers and events to foster real dialogue around this critical topic.

Conversations that heal, uplift and amplify

Our 2021 DoU included conversations with guest speakers like director and Levi’s® brand influencer Oge Egbuonu, who screened her powerful documentary “(In)Visible Portraits” and then joined Elizabeth for a fireside chat and open Q&A with employees.

We also heard from Dr. Jamila Codrington, who led employees through a session on racial trauma and healing. Delving into a powerful discussion on identity with moments of restorative meditation, Dr. Codrington addressed the pain and anxiety of racial trauma with a focus on pathways to healing, reconciliation, and unity.

These events are a continuation of efforts meant to maintain momentum following our commitment last June to increase the diversity of our workforce to better reflect the communities where we live and work and build a culture of belonging. Since then, we have fulfilled our promise to be more transparent by releasing our employee demographic data and broadly acknowledging that, as Chip said then, “We are not where we need to be.”

Our commitments also include our investment in leaders like Elizabeth and Brandon Stephens, our head of Diversity & University Recruitment, who are tasked with transforming our diversity outreach and impact within the company alongside others. They each shared an overview of their work and strategy with employees during the Day of Understanding programming, with more to come later this year.