American Family Insurance has announced a five-year, $105 million initiative aimed at addressing equity gaps nationwide.
The Free to Dream initiative is focused on strengthening efforts related to economic empowerment, education and health equity, climate resilience, criminal justice reform, and workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion.
To that end, the initiative will provide investments in social impact startups through the American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact and financial support through the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation and its Community Investments and Partnerships area.
“We must use our voice and financial strength to help create an environment where all are free to pursue their dreams. American Family will always stand with, and for, equity — it’s the right thing to do for our company, our employees, and our communities,” said American Family Insurance chair and CEO Jack Salzwedel.
“Free to Dream is more than American Family. It’s intended to inspire, create and support partnerships with other companies, organizations and the public sector to effectively address these issues together. The time is now to go beyond words and take deliberate and collaborative actions that result in profound change,” said chief operating officer Telisa Yancy.
American Family’s Free to Dream pillars
Economic Empowerment – The wealth gap in America presents barriers for people of color as they strive to achieve their dreams.
American Family Insurance will engage in innovative initiatives, investments and partnerships that allow more families to achieve financial success and pursue their American Dream.
Education and Health Equity – Education and physical and mental health inequities limit outcomes for low-income communities, which disproportionately include people of color.
Education is a critical vehicle to break cycles of generational poverty for the students and their families.
American Family Insurance will prioritize its investments, partnerships and innovative thinking to help address health and education gaps across the country.
Climate Resilience – Climate change has particularly impacted low-income and communities of color, many of which were already disadvantaged.
American Family Insurance has invested in several mission-driven start-up companies that identified innovative solutions to positively impact these communities.
Free to Dream will expand awareness of these companies and spur others to join in supporting environmental sustainability.
Criminal Justice Reform – American Family Insurance seeks to limit recidivism and broaden employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated and those with conviction and arrest records.
Free to Dream will support these efforts and the company will advocate for public policy change towards a more just and humane criminal justice system.
Workforce Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – American Family Insurance is taking critical steps to center workplace diversity, equity and inclusion as a core standard in how the company conducts business and partners with the greater community.
This is so important the company has built it into its five-year strategic plan.
American Family’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is best demonstrated by its Inclusive Excellence program, with the strategic goals to create a diverse workforce that represents
America from entry-level positions to the C-suite and the boardroom all the while cultivating an inclusive culture where all people can thrive.