Investing in Kids and Their Communities

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Featured this week: AAA - The Auto Club Group, Ally Financial, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cisco, Hormel Foods, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Jennie-O, Nike, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Royal Neighbors of America, Scholastic, Inc.

The member community convened by Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is one of a kind. The 500+ companies we serve each year are leaders in environmental, social, and governance action, and the thousands of individuals who make up this network are some of the best in the field! Pictured right: Philadelphia Insurance Companies supporting the Challenged Athletes Foundation through its sponsorship of the San Diego Triathlon Challenge in La Jalla Cove, CA. "We're proud to sponsor the CAF Kids Run & Roll and support the non-profit's mission of helping people with physical challenges pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics," the company shared.

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With youth sports participation rates declining and the implications of the childhood obesity crisis becoming clearer, Nike's VP of Social and Community Impact, Caitlin Morris, recently shared her thoughts on the issue of access to sports and a partnership that is working to turn things around.

"What I saw in Project Play was a real opportunity for us to create an actionable framework and help change the conversation, because if parent attitudes and the business of support don’t change it's going to be hard for us to get kids to have a different experience with sport," shared Morris. "Project Play is a great example of an exceptional partnership that has been rooted in research, cross-sector collaboration, and collective action. And really, we’re so proud to have played an integral role in getting it started."

Lexie Diemer joined GreenShield's Social Impact team as the new Community and Employee Impact Program Manager.

"Creating better health outcomes for all Canadians is something I am extremely passionate about. ...I cannot wait to join and learn from [fellow team members] as strong female leaders and champions of our social impact mission," Diemer shared on LinkedIn. 

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Making Investments in Kids and Their Communities

Kyle Jones recently served as a leader at AAA -The Auto Club Group’s inaugural Young Black Men Student Enrichment Forum held in May at  the company’s Dearborn headquarters. The forum included 60 Black male students from three Detroit high schools. Jones wanted to "pay it forward" and inspire other young people after participating in AAA's Career Buddies site-based mentoring program through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Detroit. That program connected Cody High School students with mentors at AAA; they met twice a month to talk about issues and offer guidance. “Getting through this was hard but so worth it,” said Jones. “There were times I wanted to give up but they helped me to keep going.”
AAA and its Diversity and Inclusion team recently came up with the idea for the forum after sponsoring the 2022 National Black Men Leadership Summit, along with the National Diversity Council, with a focus on empowering Black male youths. The forum connects students with local professionals and leaders to inspire confidence and increase readiness for life after school. Event partners included leaders from Big Brothers Big Sisters, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates, the Detroit Pistons, Ally Financial, and Wayne State University who participated in panel discussions, Q&A sessions, and individual meetings.

An estimated 37% of the world’s population – or 2.9 billion people – have still never used the internet. Meanwhile, the effects from pandemic school closures also remain, and have had a lasting impact on teacher wellbeing and student learning proficiency levels globally. This situation was particularly true in communities without reliable access to the internet or technologies to aid teachers and families with remote instruction. 

That's why Cisco is working with World Possible, a nonprofit partner who bridges these gaps and connects offline learners to the world’s knowledge with an educational server called RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning). RACHEL is an innovative learning tool helping teachers to engage their students, bridge the digital divide, and scale teacher productivity while working with diverse classrooms.

This spring the company shared some examples of how RACHEL is used to build teacher capacity, increase student engagement, and improve overall classroom performance while helping students living in remote and disconnected communities build digital skills.

Royal Neighbors of America launched a monthly program, RoyalConnect, designed to connect the community to its mission of empowering women and serving communities through small acts of kindness. The company welcomes participation from anyone, especially this past August, when any stakeholder submission of a small act of kindness (donating a book, sharing an uplifting message) resulted a $10 donation from Royal Neighbors to Building All Children. The child development nonprofit works to help ALL children by partnering with communities through encouragement and teaching.

As part of a Pre-K-5 district-wide literacy first program designed to provide over 90,000 age-appropriate books, Scholastic worked with second and third grade students at a Providence, RI elementary school, participating in activities to celebrate the power of literacy and providing new titles to add to students' home libraries. 

"Scholastic is proud to work with Providence Public Schools to help ensure students have access to books to help keep their reading skills sharp over the summer,” said Michelle Parker, Scholastic Education Solutions. “As the research shows, access to books diminishes for students over the summer, making this work more important than ever.”

Jennie-O (of Hormel Foods) has been partnering with esteemed chef, cookbook author, and TV personality Carla Hall to visit schools across the nation and honor school cafeteria staff by hosting “School Cafeteria Takeovers.”

“The School Cafeteria Takeovers with Jennie-O has been an absolute pleasure, as I’ve been able to honor some of the most unsung heroes in our school system – the cafeteria staff!” said Chef Hall. “From Knoxville to Los Angeles, Houston and now Detroit, we want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for caring for our children and putting good food in their stomachs – which then allows them to have proper nutrition to play, study, compete in sports, and more!”

An additional component of the School Cafeteria Takeovers program, Jennie-O provided $25,000 in kitchen equipment to multiplel schools throughout the spring and summer to help fulfill wish lists for cafeterias in need of new equipment and supplies.

This past August more than 120 Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina employees gathered at City Park, volunteering their time for a playground Build Day Celebration. The teams joined Burlington Recreation & Parks staff, the KABOOM! Team, and volunteers from the community to put the finishing touches on a new inclusive playground and fresh plantings that surround it.
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Members on the Move

More Learning & Networking Opportunities

CSR/ESG leaders are now applying to our 2023 Leadership Academy. If you manage a corporate citizenship team you should learn more about this certification program.
Meanwhile, nearly 200 CSR/ESG professionals requested a pre-registration alert for the 2024 International Corporate Citizenship Conference, which is now OPEN for registration. Thanks to convening sponsor, FedEx, hundreds of your peers will meet this April in Memphis, TN. Reserve your spot to join them!

A warm welcome to BCCCC's newest members, Ionis Pharmaceuticals!

We look forward to having your team in our corporate citizenship community.