Unum announces first Social Justice Fund grantees

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Unum announces first Social Justice Fund grantees

Since Unum launched its Social Justice Fund to create stronger, more equitable communities, more than $85,000 has been donated to organizations fighting racism and social injustice.

“Through offering training, promoting civic engagement or working toward policy changes, these organizations are committed to ending racism, discrimination and bias,” said Kimberly Bowen, Unum’s vice president of Global Talent Management and executive sponsor of the Social Justice Fund. “We’re proud to support the Glass House Collective, In Her Presence, the Maine Teachers of the Year Association and the March of Dimes Massachusetts. By funding their important work, we’re making our communities stronger and more equitable.”

Take a closer look at the first of many organizations the company will be supporting in the U.S.

Glass House Collective

Started in 2012, the Glass House Collective focuses on making East Chattanooga streets cleaner, safer and more inviting by fostering relationships between neighbors and local artists.

These funds will be used to further develop Sway: The People’s Guide to Community Organizing.

“Whether formal or informal, organized collaboration creates opportunities to bring more people into public action. Sway helps everyday people, residents and artists think through the work required to build strong public organizations. In addition to the knowledge gained from the curriculum, Sway participants will work to strengthen a neighborhood organization, bring more people into decision-making roles and amplify the voices of our neighbors who are often marginalized, ultimately contributing to a more equitable city for all of us.” – Tara Poole, Director of Development & Operations

In Her Presence

In Her Presence reaches out to immigrant women, encouraging them to participate in English language classes and educational workshops to help with integration and success.

These funds will provide professional mentoring for immigrant women to help empower them by providing tools to address inequalities and advocate for themselves and their families.

“We’re committed to helping immigrant women in their journey to fully use their skills and fulfill their career aspirations. The IHP Mentoring Program will not only benefit immigrant women, it will also break down walls and defying stereotypes, provide an awareness-raising racial equity experience for mentors, make a significant contribution to the Maine economy, and ultimately enhance inclusivity in the workplace.” – Claudette Ndayininahaze, Executive Director

Maine Teachers of the Year Association:

The Maine State Teachers of the Year Association supports past, present and future educators by offering professional development, networking and leadership opportunities.

The Fund will support the Antiracist Teaching Project, which aims to provide training and collaboration opportunities with educators across Maine, so that participating teachers will be able to lead in local and state-level initiatives to dismantle racism in Maine’s education system.

“Educators in Maine have a responsibility to provide antiracist/anti-bias education, yet many have spent their lives teaching and living in communities that are not racially diverse. Through professional development and intersectional dialogue, teachers will explore approaches to antiracist and anti-bias education, including decolonizing the curriculum and engaging students in conversations about race. Participating teachers will also be able to lead in local and state-level initiatives to dismantle racism in Maine’s education system. We believe this work is critical for students and educators to be empowered agents of change and justice.” – Karen MacDonald, Treasurer and Maine Teacher of the Year 2014

March of Dimes Massachusetts

The March of Dimes is committed to ensuring all mothers and babies get the best possible care and start in life, no matter their age, socio-economic background or demographic.

Support from the Fund will provide “Breaking Through Implicit Bias in Maternal Healthcare” training to medical professionals as part of the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative.

“Implicit bias and stigma experienced by patients, coupled with institutional racism, partly contributes to the disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes. March of Dimes proudly partners with the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative to offer an implicit bias training for Worcester area health care providers to uncover institutionalized racism in the health care system and training on how not to perpetuate the cycles of discrimination.” – Stephen Sycks, Senior Development Manager

Unum is actively looking for qualified organizations to apply for the Social Justice Fund. If you or anyone you know has an organization in mind, encourage them to apply here.   

Organizations will receive support from the fund through a grant process. An advisory committee will evaluate a detailed application for each grant request and determine whether to approve funding. Each request is evaluated in a manner consistent with Unum’s corporate values and stated goals of the fund.

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