Unum launched its Social Justice Fund last summer to help create stronger, more equitable communities and to support organizations working to end racism, discrimination and bias.
“I’m proud to see the difference we’ve made for close to 50 organizations,” said Kimberly Bowen, VP of Global Talent Management and Executive Sponsor for the fund. “But I’m even more excited about the work ahead of us – how we can play a bigger role in leading the fight against racial and social injustice.”
Unum’s initial focus for 2020 was supporting organizations fighting for racial justice. In 2021, the company expanded the fund to include more groups facing discrimination. Since the launch, Unum has donated $460,000 to 49 organizations fighting racism and injustice across the globe. More than 220 employees have also made direct donations to other social justice organizations.
The majority of funds have supported civic engagement programs and organizations. Support has also gone to help marginalized individuals or groups address issues or concerns regarding their community.
Unum has given to programs like the African American Prosperity Network (AAPN) in South Carolina to support their Restorative Justice Initiative, a diversion program that includes restitution, pre-trial intervention, and expungement for 1st time non-violent offenders. Ultimately, it helps build strong communities by removing a significant barrier that limits prosperity and economic growth in underserved Black communities.
AAPN founder & president, Travis Wiliams, had this to say about their partnership with Unum, “Please share my appreciation for this grant and for Unum’s willingness to take a chance on my organization, our partnership in its mission, and above all else – our belief and commitment in creating change.”
The Maine State Teachers of the Year Association received funding for its Anti-Racist Professional Development for Maine Educators program which offered free professional development sessions for Maine educators.
Of the more than 300 educators who participated, one had this to say about the impact of the program, “I am committed to continuing my own anti-racist education and I feel more empowered to be a voice of change in my classroom, school and community.”
The following organizations are the newest beneficiaries of our Social Justice Fund:
- BGC Southern Maine – Raising our Voices
- Black Owned Maine – One Maine Group Incubator Pilot
- ProsperityME – Empowering Maine’s BIOPIC Immigrants to Economically Thrive
- Yellow Tulip Project – Expansion of Diversity & Equity Task Force
- Hanover Theatre – Org. DEIB Assessment and Training
- Worcester Education Collaboration – Worcester Education Equity Roundtable
- Worcester Hip Hop Congress – Building up to Break Down
- Charleston Promise Neighborhood – Core Mission Support
- Institute for Child Success – Implicit Bias Training for Early Childhood Educators
- Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga – Advocacy Institute
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.