ST. LOUIS, MO, Nov. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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,” said Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle Betz. “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.
“Hunger is one more obstacle to success for too many young people of color, and we felt expanding our existing Fill Your Tank commitment was a natural complement to the ROAD Forward initiative.” Betz added. “Our decision to extend Fill Your Tank and launch ROAD Forward was also inspired by our employees, who often ask the Foundation to support causes they are passionate about.”
Paving the ROAD Forward
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.
“We are grateful for Enterprise acting with intention to address the systemic barriers that deny dreams for far too many of our kids,” said Michael D. Smith, Executive Director, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. “Enterprise’s support will help accelerate impact in MBK Communities to reduce youth violence, grow effective mentorship programs, and measurably improve the lives of boys and young men of color.”
“We are honored and obliged to serve as Enterprise’s early childhood development partner on this important ROAD forward,” said Constance Gully, President and CEO, Parents as Teachers. “Working with parents directly during the most vulnerable stages of their child’s early development has a direct effect on reducing the educational disparities that can later result in income and health gaps. This generous investment in the work of Parents as Teachers will provide vital resources to reach and more effectively meet the needs of the thousands of Black, Brown, and Native American families we partner with across all 50 states.”
“Providing girls with social and emotional support is critical to their well-being and ensures they can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. During these unprecedented times the need is even greater, especially for girls of color and those from underserved communities,” said Dr. Stephanie J. Hull, President and CEO, Girls Inc. “We are grateful to Enterprise for their partnership and investment in the work Girls Inc. is doing to further strengthen our capacity to provide girls with the experiences and mentorship that enable them to thrive.”
“Support from the Enterprise ROAD Forward initiative is critically important for the talented and deserving students we serve,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF. “This new scholarship program helps us continue to empower more students of color to get to and through college. That is especially important now as we all face rising racial injustice and a health pandemic that’s affecting our communities quite severely. Thank you, Enterprise, and we look forward to working with your team to build better futures for many others.”
In addition, the Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward initiative will allocate funds to its 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.
“These actions are the next steps in what will be a continuous journey to elevate our focus on equality and diversity – and to continue breathing inclusivity in everything we do,” said Enterprise Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Chrissy Taylor. “It mirrors our internal efforts to advance social and racial equity within our very own walls – from our mentorship programs, to introducing new training and development and diversity councils, to forums that drive honest dialogue on these critical issues.”
The founder of Enterprise, Jack Taylor, established the company in 1957 with a fleet of seven cars. Today, Enterprise operates in more than 100 countries and territories and is the largest car rental company in the world, based on revenue, fleet size and number of locations. Jack Taylor started the Foundation in 1982 to give back to the communities that drove Enterprise’s growth and success. Since then, the Foundation and the Taylor family have contributed more than $1.4 billion to thousands of local nonprofits, with a special focus on community improvement, education and environmental stewardship. Meanwhile, each year Enterprise employees contribute their time and skills to thousands of national and local organizations in the cities and neighborhoods they serve.
For more information about Enterprise Holdings’ philanthropic initiatives, visit https://www.enterpriseholdings.com/en/corporate-social-responsibility/philanthropic-initiatives.html.
About Enterprise Holdings
Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is a leading provider of mobility solutions, owning and operating the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands through its integrated global network of independent regional subsidiaries. Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates offers extensive car rental, carsharing, truck rental, fleet management, retail car sales, as well as travel management and other transportation services to make travel easier and more convenient for customers. Privately held by the Taylor family of St. Louis, Mo., Enterprise Holdings manages a diverse fleet of nearly 1.7 million vehicles through a network of more than 9,500 fully staffed neighborhood and airport rental locations in nearly 100 countries and territories. For more information about Enterprise Holdings Inc., visit www.enterpriseholdings.com.
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Monique LeNoir United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF) 202-810-0231 firstname.lastname@example.org Sara Miller Enterprise Holdings Sara.email@example.com