Like everything else in 2020, Global Volunteer Month (GVM) at UPS took on a different look and feel this year. The change, however, was not entirely due to the pandemic.
While the safety of UPSers and their communities took center stage, this year’s call to action mirrored one sweeping across society – a battle against racial and social injustice, with a pledge of one million employee volunteer hours supporting Black communities globally.
UPS has a longstanding partnership with many organizations helping in minority communities such as United Way, Boys & Girls Club of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and 100 Black Men.
In addition, The UPS Foundation (the charitable arm of UPS) collaborated with Points of Light to identify virtual and socially-distanced volunteer opportunities for UPS people.
Cher Porties, President, UPS Mid South District, recalls the impact volunteerism had on the community in her hometown of Detroit.
“I always tell people you can find a way to give back,” Cher said. “UPS gives us a platform to help underserved communities – both with our time as volunteers as well as with financial resources. We have a choice on what kind of impact we will make … it all starts with you.”
As a force of over 500,000 employees globally, UPSers are an active, impactful force for good in communities around the world.
Along those lines, UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé made it clear on her first day on the job that the company will not stand quietly or idly on the sidelines when dealing with the issues of racial equality and injustice.
Carol’s message became a call to action for UPS to reaffirm its commitment to inclusion. And following, the company released a statement outlining accelerated commitments to combat systemic racism.
Driving institutional change and overcoming unconscious bias
The company formed the UPS Equity, Justice and Action Task Force – a leadership team representing different departments to find ways to strengthen the organization internally, and use its size and scale externally in the battle against injustice.
One of the task force’s first orders of business has been delivering on UPS’s commitment to expand training on unconscious bias. Knowing what biases UPSers might be carrying and how they affect those around them is key to creating an inclusive, fair and comfortable environment for all.
As Carol put it on her first day as CEO: “No one is safe until we are all safe, and we know there is no place in any community anywhere in the world for racism, bigotry or hate.”
“No one is safe until we are all safe, and we know there is no place in any community anywhere in the world for racism, bigotry or hate.”- Carol B. Tomé