Juneteenth - Celebrating Those Working to End Racism

by Contributor

Juneteenth is a federal holiday to commemorate when Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, with word the Civil War ended, and enslaved people were free. The date was June 19, 1865, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

At Unum, we acknowledge the continued effects of slavery and the need to identify and dismantle systemic racism that exists in America. One way we create stronger, more equitable communities is with our support of nonprofit partners working to end racism, discrimination and bias through Unum's Social Justice Fund.

Recently, Unum was recognized by Points of Light as a Civic 50 Honoree for our continued work to improve the communities we serve and where our employees live.

Our commitment to helping the working world thrive throughout life’s moments extends to our customers, employees, and our communities.

Here are some organizations we partner with across the country:

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, Economic Equity Program (EEP)

The Baton Rouge Youth Coalition tackles racial wealth and income inequality. Starting with youth in the ninth grade, they seek to improve participant’s economic success from an early age. EEP helps students build life plans, attend college affordably, gain relevant, paid career experience, and graduate with a secured job in their chosen career field.

The high school program supports cohorts of students who seek financial aid counseling and career options. After graduation, the focus turns to college preparedness, career support to find desirable employment and direct assistance to defray the cost of college.

Black Owned Maine, One Maine Group Incubator Pilot

Black Owned Maine looks to increase the number of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and business owners in Maine. The goal of the program is to create a consistent pipeline of businesspeople who can develop high-growth companies in targeted areas of technology.

Buckeye Ridge Habitat for Humanity, Breaking Barriers Through Black Homeownership

Buckeye Ridge Habitat for Humanity increases Black homeownership by increasing and improving existing affordable housing. They also educate African American families on homeownership and housing issues faced by Black families, primarily first-time homebuyers. In addition, the organization informs non-minority citizens on policy barriers to homeownership historically faced by the Black community and the ramifications those policies still carry today.

LAUNCH Chattanooga, Empowering Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

LAUNCH Chattanooga empowers and encourages business development in communities where economic exclusion has been the norm for generations. In 2022, LAUNCH will conduct business classes to target minority and other underrepresented populations. Class topics will include:

  • Idea validation, goal setting and business plan creation
  • Marketing and branding
  • Legal structures
  • Certification and licensing
  • Pricing and cash flow management

When participants graduate, they are encouraged to obtain a business license and receive additional business coaching as they open new businesses.

Institute for Child Success, Implicit Bias Training for Early Childhood Educators

The data is compelling: children of color, specifically Black boys, are 3.6 times more likely to be expelled from preschool than their peers. 50% of children expelled are Black, even though Black children only represent 20% of enrollment, and boys represent four out of every five children expelled from school. The inequality in this disparity is striking, especially when considering it involves children under the age of five. The Institute for Child Success addresses this issue by performing implicit bias training for early childhood educators and stakeholders across the state of South Carolina.


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About Unum Group

Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2022, Unum reported revenues of about $12 billion and paid $8 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®. 

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