Companies are trying to make Christmas look more like the people who celebrate it.
Gap announced its Old Navy brand has launched its “Happy ALL-idays” campaign to bring more inclusivity to the holiday, and is “inspiring customers to turn-around old holiday stereotypes.”
According to Schools 4 Santa, fewer than 5% of professional Santas were people of color in 2019, KNBC reported.
It wasn’t until 2016 that the Mall of America hired its first Black Santa, 24 years after the mall opened, according to the Star Tribune.
The company has started a “SantaBOOT Camp,” described as “a Santa school for all.” It is billed as a 30-minute virtual course where anyone can learn how to be Santa, including how to answer kids’ questions. The program is also training the would-be Santas in sign language and Spanish.
It is a partnership with the founder of Schools4Santas, Santa Timothy Connaghan. He will work with other Schools4Santas grads like Dion Sinclair, who goes by “Santa Dee” and “The Real Black Santa;” Bob Torres, a bilingual Santa with 38 years under his belt; and Brian Butler, who is known as “Soulful Santa.”
The company will also hire a diverse group of Santas for flagship stores at Herald Square in New York City, Market Street in San Francisco and State Street in Chicago.
For more on the company’s inclusivity initiative, visit Gap Inc.
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