Skills for Cities 2020 Day of Service Event to Focus on Racial Justice and BIPOC-Led Nonprofits
Uniting Corporate Talent and Nonprofit Professionals for a Cross-Sector Day of Learning and Skills-Based Volunteering
BROOKLYN, NY, October 22, 2020 – So many nonprofits that serve communities of color, focus on a racial justice mission, or have BIPOC leadership are facing an extraordinary confluence of need and opportunity: their stakeholders are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 and disproportionately underfunded by government budgets and philanthropy, and their work has never been more essential or in the spotlight than it is this year. While many companies have issued statements in support of racial equity, the most transformational thing they can do right now is keep those promises by activating their greatest asset – their people – to make change.
This year’s Skills for Cities event is a national, virtual volunteer effort centered on sustaining and scaling racial justice and BIPOC-led nonprofits. Designed as a way to translate private sector intent into action, the cross-sector day of service is organized by Common Impact with support from co-host sponsor John Hancock, and will take place Friday, October 30.
Launched in 2018, Skills for Cities has provided an estimated $217,500 in pro bono services and delivered lasting impact for communities. Corporate skills-based volunteers work in cross-company teams to leverage their expertise in areas like technology, innovation, HR, finance, marketing, and operations and join with nonprofits to rebuild, reinforce, and reimagine their capacity to do good.
“We’re seven months into the crisis of COVID-19, and centuries into the crisis of systemic racism. COVID-19 and the high profile racial injustices we’ve seen this year have activated companies in new and meaningful ways to fight for equity,” says Danielle Holly, CEO of Common Impact, a national nonprofit that connects companies with nonprofits for skills-based volunteering. “Common Impact is committed to transforming that intent to targeted, meaningful support for the BIPOC-led organizations that are being asked to do much more with far less. If each of us brings our expertise, experience and talents to the table, then – together – we can build stronger, more resilient cities.”
Skills for Cities volunteers will support 14 nonprofit organizations, including: conducting a website UX assessment for New York-based Avenues for Justice, developing a communications plan template for One Goal Massachusetts, and conducting a performance management audit for Ella Baker Center in Oakland. All the skilled volunteer projects share the goal of building the capacity of these nonprofits to deliver on their missions and alleviate inequality and inequity.
“At John Hancock, we’ve been on a mission to foster healthier, more equitable communities through long-term investments that promote health and build financial resilience,” says Marianne Harrison, President and CEO of John Hancock. “We're proud to support this year’s Skills for Cities event and recognize the many nonprofits that have stepped forward and found new ways to provide essential services to communities in need.”
Skills for Cities 2020 will engage more than 100 volunteers from Co-Host sponsor John Hancock, Foundational sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts, Citizens, State Street Corporation, and ViacomCBS, and six other companies.
About Common Impact
Common Impact is a national nonprofit that works to build a society in which individuals and businesses invest their unique talents towards a shared purpose: strengthening the local communities in which we live and work. Founded in 2000, Common Impact has partnered with Fortune 500 companies and hundreds of the country's leading nonprofit organizations to create transformational change through skills-based volunteering. Learn more about Common Impact's services, impact, and clients.
About John Hancock and Manulife
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife globally, including Canada, Asia and Europe. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were CAD$1.2 trillion (US$0.9 trillion) as of June 30, 2020. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as MFC on the TSX, NYSE, and PSE, and under 945 on the SEHK. Manulife can be found at manulife.com.
One of the largest life insurers in the United States, John Hancock supports more than 10 million Americans with a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, and education savings plans. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
Debra Caruso Marrone