Unum has announced its next round of Social Justice Fund grantees, which makes over $160,000 donated to organizations fighting racism and injustice. More than 170 employees have engaged with the Fund and made direct donations to other social justice organizations to make that possible.
The Social Justice Fund is designed to create stronger, more equitable communities and to support organizations working to fight racial and social injustice.
When Unum launched the fund in 2020, the focus was on organizations dedicated to racial justice. This year, the fund has expanded to include more groups facing discrimination. Those additional groups include: Abilities, LGBTQ+, Veterans and Women.
In addition to the key mission of the fund, Unum has invested in each of the four focus areas: training, civic engagement, economic justice and systemic and policy change.
The following five organizations are the newest beneficiaries of the Social Justice Fund:
- Girls Inc of Worcester
- United Ways of Maine
- Community Resources for Justice
- Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence
- Voices for Racial Justice
February is Black History Month, and it’s important that Black History is remembered whenever we think of American history. Our employees are focusing on the We Are Unum tenet—a willingness to own it—highlighting our responsibility to defend those facing injustice and speaking the truth.
We talked with Dr. Rosemarie Allen, president and CEO of Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence, about how they provide professional development to schools, businesses, childcare providers, and governmental agencies on creating antibias and antiracist environments.
“Our goal is to decrease racial disparities that exist in these environments,” said Allen. “This includes reducing the number of children of color who are suspended and expelled from school, creating positive work environments, and decreasing microaggressions in the workplace, even decreasing the number of people of color, especially Black people who are killed, stopped, and disproportionately harassed by law enforcement.”
The Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence is offering a free webinar series on racial equity. The first webinar will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 9 on how to talk to children about racism and creating antiracist early childhood environments. Research shows that bias starts early.
“By teaching children how to talk about race, accept differences, and act against unfairness, today’s preschoolers will not become tomorrow’s protestors,” Allen said.
Click this link to join the webinar and learn more.
Want to know more about our grantees?
Recently, we highlighted several of our 2020 grantees during our employee MLK celebrations. Here’s several short videos that will help you get to know some of our grantees.
- Texas Public Policy Foundation: One of our employees submitted a question during our internal MLK panel in Jan. centered around what Unum is doing to combat systemic racism in government systems like the U.S. prison system. One way is by supporting organizations like the Texas Public Policy Foundation, one of our Social Justice Fund grantees. Hear from representatives Richard Johnson and Marc Levin about how we can work together to drive change and their work with the foundation.
- In Her Presence: For this video, we’re highlighting In Her Presence. This organization hosts English language classes and a variety of educational workshops to provide a platform for Maine immigrant women to better integrate and succeed. Hear from representative Claudette Ndayininahaze how In Her Presence works to create social change.
- Justice 360: Justice 360 is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing systemic change in the criminal justice system. Hear from representative Lindsey Vann on their focuses with the criminal justice system and what gives her hope.
- Glass House Collective: This Chattanooga non-profit started in 2012 with the revitalization of Glass Street. They now work to make more of Chattanooga’s historic streets cleaner, safer and more inviting. Hear from representatives Erika Roberts and Michael Gilliland on how Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy impacted the work they do.
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.