The Enterprise Holdings Foundation has announced a $120 million commitment in support of efforts to advance racial equity and address food insecurity in the United States and other parts of the world.
The commitment includes support for the launch of Enterprise Holdings ROAD Forward, a five-year, $55 million initiative aimed at increasing respect, opportunity, achievement, and diversity (ROAD) for and among youth and families in communities where the company operates, with a focus on three areas: early childhood development, youth health and wellness, and career and college preparation. The initiative has already awarded grants totaling $20 million to four organizations — Parents as Teachers, which will use the funds to adapt its early childhood education programs to better connect with the needs of Black, brown, and Native American children; the Obama Foundation's My Brother's Keeper Alliance, in support of its mission to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color; Girls Inc., which will use the funds to improve its social and emotional learning frameworks, with a focus on racial injustice and inequities; and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), which will use its grant to fund more than seventy scholarships for first-generation Black college students.
The initiative also will allocate a total of $35 million to Enterprise's more than seventy global operating teams and empower employees to support local organizations best equipped to address issues related to the initiative's priorities.
"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," said Parents as Teachers president and CEO Constance Gully. "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 fifty states."
In addition, the company committed $65 million to Enterprise Fill Your Tank, a program it launched in 2016 with a pledge to contribute $10 million a year to address food insecurity in local communities, an issue that disproportionally impacts people of color. More than half of the total, $35 million, will be shared by Feeding America, Food Banks Canada, and the Global FoodBanking Network, while $30 million will be allocated to Enterprise operating teams in support of local food banks.