Enterprise Holdings, through the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, is elevating its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion with a new five-year, $55 million commitment to organizations that advance social and racial equity in communities around the world.
The company’s new initiative, Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward, will increase respect, opportunity, achievement, and diversity (ROAD) for youth and families by addressing three social and racial equity gaps in need of urgent attention: early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation.
“Diversity, inclusion and strengthening the communities where we operate have been part of our guiding principles for more than 60 years,” Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle Betz said in a statement. “The Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward initiative will open new doors for individuals in our communities who are disproportionately affected by lack of access to resources in the areas of education, health and wellness.”
In conjunction with the Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward initiative, the Foundation is pledging an additional $65 million into Enterprise Fill Your Tank, a program launched in 2016 that has contributed more than $50 million to address food insecurity in local communities — an issue that often disproportionally affects people of color.
The company is pledging the funds to extend the program for five more years. The funds will continue to be distributed annually among Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, and The Global FoodBanking Network, in addition to other local food banks and pantries in the communities served by Enterprise.
As part of the Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward initiative’s commitment to young people of color in underserved communities, the company will work with four nationally renowned nonprofit organizations: The Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, UNCF, Girls Inc., and Parents as Teachers.
Through these four distinct partnerships, the initiative will bring meaningful impact to local youth and families in the following ways:
- Early childhood development: Support for Parents as Teachers will enable the organization to broaden the reach and effectiveness of its proven early childhood education programs to better connect with the needs of Black, Brown, and Native American children. Key objectives of the partnership include refining its curriculum for diverse audiences, creating professional development sessions, subsidizing cultural adaptations of existing programs, translating program materials into Somali, Spanish, and other languages, and underwriting new data equity research.
- Youth health and wellness: Support for My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Alliance will advance their mission to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they are valued and have clear pathways to opportunity. Key objectives include supporting the 19 MBK Impact and Seed Communities in documenting and broadly disseminating best practices, lessons learned, and stories of inspiration and hope from youth and community leaders; and launching the MBK Framework to Affect Systems Change, which will help the hundreds of MBK communities better define, document and increase their impact.
- Youth health and wellness: Support for Girls Inc. will continue their mission to help all girls grow up “strong, smart, and bold” by funding work to assess and refine the organization’s proven social and emotional learning frameworks that address racial injustice and inequities. Then, putting the updated framework into action with education, training and mentorship facilitated through affiliate programs.
- Career and college preparation: Through UNCF, Enterprise will support more than 70 scholarships for first-generation Black college students to cover critical, but often unmet needs that can create barriers to college completion or successful career transitions. Scholarships will support non-tuition-related student needs such as emergency expenses, stipends to support extracurricular professional development and educational loan repayment.
In addition, the Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward initiative will allocate funds to its more than 70 global operating teams over the next five years, empowering employees to take the lead in identifying pressing issues related to the program’s three focus areas in their communities and supporting local organizations that are best equipped to address them.