CHICAGO — Pearl Milling Co., maker of the 132-year-old pancake mix and syrup products previously found under the Aunt Jemima name, has launched PEARL Pledge (prosperity, empowerment, access, representation and leadership), a multi-year program focused on championing the empowerment and success of Black women and girls across the country. In its inaugural year, the brand will award $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations helping to fulfill this mission.

PEARL Pledge will focus on providing funding to organizations helping to meet the significant needs facing Black women and girls, such as gaps in food security and inadequate access to financial and educational resources.

In addition to opening applications for eligible nonprofits, Pearl Milling said it is encouraging people to nominate organizations for grants that will range from $25,000 to $100,000. The grants will be awarded based on several factors, including how the chosen organizations will use the funding. Both nominations and applications may be submitted at

Pearl Milling said it will work with an advisory council comprised of diverse external partners knowledgeable about the needs in the Black community and who have personally worked to drive change, as well as diverse internal team members at PepsiCo, to select the grant winners. Grant recipients will be announced on the brand’s website this summer.

Pearl Milling’s PEARL Pledge is part of a broader commitment at parent PepsiCo, Inc. Last year, the Purchase, NY-based company said it would invest more than $400 million over five years focused on increasing Black representation at PepsiCo, supporting Black-owned businesses, and lifting up Black communities in the United States.