What are the qualities that define a community? Unity, commitment, and adaptability – all values, when woven together, describe the values our teams work hard to uphold, in and outside the company.
As 2020 comes to an end, we remain steadfast in our commitment to be there for friends, families, coworkers and neighbors. Whether it’s addressing social and economic barriers or empowering those particularly affected by the pandemic, we continue to collaborate with civic and non-profit organizations to provide our communities with the resources they need.
When it comes to racial inequality, it cannot be solved overnight. To do our part, we continue to actively reevaluate how to make a positive impact. Our $10 million commitment to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black and underserved communities is just one of the many ways we are helping to combat long-standing social inequities.
While the homework gap has existed for decades, COVID-19 has brought national awareness to the problem. Although America’s networks have performed well during the pandemic, many rural and low-income families don’t have the internet access they need to work and learn. We believe in the equality of education and connection is at our core. And now that the classroom has gone digital, we are refocusing our efforts to expand student connectivity.
It is vital we continue to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic to emerge stronger than ever. From opening opportunity’s doors to closing technology gaps, I invite you to read below and learn more about our journey to building a resilient community.
Leveling the playing field: changing barriers to opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world to rapidly change the ways we live and work. So, in a time not short on challenges, how do we change barriers to opportunities? We level the playing field.
Supporting equality and upward mobility for underserved communities
At AT&T, we believe each of us has a role to identify and address racial inequality wherever it exists. Many actions can yield positive changes. However, it is not a one size fits all approach. Here’s what we’re doing to make a difference:
AT&T Supports Groups that Create Economic Opportunity in Washington, DC
AT&T is working with organizations across the country to create economic opportunities and foster upward mobility for Black, Brown and underserved communities that face long-standing social inequities and higher unemployment.
In Washington, DC, AT&T is working with two organizations that share those common goals: Voices for a Second Chance (VSC) and SchoolTalk-Restorative DC. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation recently contributed a combined $100,000 to these two organizations to help prevent violence among young people and to help previously incarcerated men and women find jobs and create new opportunities for themselves and their families.
VSC is a Washington, DC nonprofit providing comprehensive services for citizens transitioning from incarceration to community. VSC connects with these individuals in local jails, federal prisons, and community corrections facilities. During incarceration, VSC provides critical connection between the individual and loved ones and community members. Upon reentry, VSC helps clients with obtaining vital records, trauma recovery support groups, referrals to medical and mental health care, and their Family Connections programming for children of incarcerated parents. VSC served over 4,700 clients in 2019, and in 2020 they are experiencing a 20% increase in clients due to the COVID-19 compassionate release laws. AT&T contributed $75,000 to help VSC meet its mission. Read more here.
Violence, trauma, suspensions, and truancy negatively affect school communities and have a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable students. School Talk's Restorative DC is a community-based initiative that provides technical assistance to support D.C. schools in the integration of restorative justice philosophy and practices into school communities. Restorative DC is supported by a diverse collective of local restorative justice practitioners. Our team has a deep knowledge base that spans multiple restorative justice models and practices, as well as complementary expertise in social work, drama therapy, non-violent communication, positive discipline, coaching, trauma-informed practices, special education, and more. AT&T contributed $25,000 to School Talk for the Restorative DC initiative.