What’s the story: UPS is putting words into action to support and empower Black communities with new strategic partnerships, more funding to grassroots organizations and increased volunteerism in underserved communities.
Why it matters: “I’m proud to work for a company that’s intentionally investing in underserved communities and unapologetically creating pathways for Black students and businesses to thrive,” said Doug Daley, advisor to the corporate chapter of UPS’s African American Business Resource Group (AABRG). “These intentional steps are focused on lifting equity and will drive economic success for Black communities.”
- Over the past year, The UPS Foundation has provided more than $3 million in grants and donations to organizations like the National Urban League, the NAACP, United Negro College Fund and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
- A new partnership between UPS and the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) will drive the success of Black entrepreneurs and the communities they serve.
- The UPS Ignite program, as well as our partnership with RICE, will elevate underrepresented entrepreneurs through a $1.25 million investment from UPS and The UPS Foundation, reaching more than 250 small and medium-sized businesses over the next three years.
- UPS has pledged at least 1 million volunteer hours to Black communities.
- Black Voices from Big Brown highlights the stories of UPS leaders and trailblazers. Podcasts with each contributor offer additional insights.
- The Proudly Unstoppable campaign shines a spotlight on Black-owned small businesses.
How UPSers can get involved: The AABRG is sponsoring online events for UPSers throughout the month.
- Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m. ET: Black History Month kickoff with Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren and special guest CEO Carol B. Tomé.
- Feb. 8, 3 p.m. ET: NextUp Committee introduction with Nikki Clifton, president, social impact and The UPS Foundation.
- Feb. 9, 3 p.m. ET: Keynote address with John Hope Bryant, entrepreneur and founder of Operation HOPE.
- Feb. 22, 4 p.m. ET: Roundtable discussion with UPS customer and Ignite participant Mielle Organics and owners Monique and Melvin Rodriguez.
Local events: Look for volunteer opportunities throughout the month. Any activity where the population served is more than 50% Black counts toward reaching the goal of 1 million hours. Check with your local AABRG chapter for ideas.
A broader view: Black History Month began in the U.S. as a way of commemorating people and events in the history of the African diaspora and is increasingly celebrated around the world.
“For me, Black History Month is a living celebration of humanity,” said Charlene Thomas, UPS’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. “It’s a time to recognize the achievements of Black individuals globally and to envision a collective future where racial equity is built into our societies.”
Check out Charlene’s bold aspirations for 2022 here and stay tuned for more.