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“It’s really important for those of us in a position of power – as a funder with nonprofit organizations especially – to be very transparent about it and not allow it to be a barrier for meaningful partnership. We’re not going to have the impact that we want to have if it’s us telling you exactly how we want you to run programs for us; it will be far more fruitful for us to have a conversation about the outcomes we seek to achieve – ideally together – and then to think about resources we have or you have and hopefully align on the impact we can have together.”
Tom Crohan, Vice President & Counsel, Corporate Responsibility & Government Relations at John Hancock, joins host Danielle Holly to talk Skills for Cities and John Hancock’s response to COVID-19, racial injustice, and social inequity. John Hancock co-hosted this year’s Skills for Cities day of cross-sector collaboration aimed at supporting racial justice and BIPOC-led nonprofits amidst the dual pandemic of racism and COVID-19. Having participated in Skills for Cities as a volunteer himself, Tom comments on the diversity of backgrounds and location the virtual environment enabled, as well as how the diversity of thought at the table made it an even more powerful instance of combining strengths to do good for communities in need.
Tom and Danielle discuss the urgency in addressing not just COVID-19, but racial justice and systemic social issues too, and the need to maintain that momentum. He shares how John Hancock doubled down on its MLK Scholars program to connect Boston teens with jobs in the nonprofit sector and how they and their partners made it work virtually so young people could still have access to important opportunities to succeed during this difficult time. Tom and Danielle also discuss more broadly the strain COVID-19 has put on the nonprofit sector, the imbalanced “K-shaped” recovery we’re already seeing, and the importance of humility, balanced power dynamics, and true collaboration in order to achieve the impact all sectors want to see.
To learn more about John Hancock’s services, CSR initiatives, and community engagement programs, visit johnhancock.com/index.html.