Urban News Staff Reports
Insurance company Nationwide is making additional investments to combat racism and promote economic empowerment. On top of its existing efforts, the company is announcing a $1 million, multi-year commitment to support local and national programs dedicated to fostering social justice.
The multi-year commitment on criminal justice efforts is in addition to Nationwide’s significant and long-held commitments to support diversity initiatives aimed at addressing economic empowerment, education and housing—all core issues at the heart of systemic racism.
“At Nationwide, we believe that racism in any shape or form is unacceptable and runs counter to our core values,” said Kirt Walker, Nationwide Chief Executive Officer. “Today, we are making it clear that we are committed to taking action to promote social equity and justice.”
The company is making an additional $1 million in contributions to social justice organizations, with funds being directed to:
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense Fund, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting for racial justice through litigation, advocate and public education.
- Local NAACP organizations to foster social justice and economic empowerment.
- The Bail Project, an effort to combat mass incarceration at the front end of the justice system by focusing on the restoration of the presumption of innocence.
- The Equal Justice Initiative, an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States by challenging racial and economic injustice and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
“While I am very proud of Nationwide and its diversity efforts through the years, it’s critical that in the midst of recent events and this ongoing national conversation, we listen to our associates,” Walker said. “Only when we take the time to understand and appreciate the unique points of view of others can we make meaningful change.”
In the weeks since the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Nationwide leadership and associates at every level have held forums large and small to create opportunities for associates to listen, share and learn.
“The events of the past few weeks have pierced the souls and consciousness of each of us, individually and collectively,” said Nationwide Chief HR and Administrative Officer Gale King. “They remind us that we’re better than this. And they make us wonder ‘what can we do? How else can we be a force for good?'”
Nationwide has established a Social Justice Task Force made up of diverse thought leaders across the Fortune 100 company to identify new, tangible ways the company can increase its impact on societal issues like racism.
The company has also committed to preparing additional education and activism resources for its associates, including implicit bias training, the creation of racial discussion forums and social justice volunteerism opportunities.
Nationwide says its company is committed to diversity, inclusion and social justice. The company’s Board of Directors is 27% diverse and its C-suite is 25% diverse and 25% female. It has long-term relationships with organizations such as the National Urban League, National Fair Housing Alliance, Human Rights Campaign and others. In addition, the company has a strong supplier diversity program that fosters the promotion, growth and development of minority-, women-, lesbian-, gay- and veteran-owned enterprises. Over the years, this has resulted in more than 3,400 jobs and more than $1 billion in spending.