Aflac Incorporated have announced its $25 million commitment to invest in the Black Economic Development Fund introduced by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
The Black Economic Development Fund (the “Fund”) is a mission-oriented investment fund with the primary objective of supporting Black-led financial institutions, anchor institutions and business transactions to strengthen the Black community in rural and urban communities. The ultimate goal is to help close the racial wealth gap. The Fund expects to begin initial deployment of capital in the first quarter of 2021, taking an industry-agnostic approach across a diverse set of borrowers and geographies with a variety of products and investment durations.
This announcement follows Chairman and CEO of Aflac Incorporated Daniel P. Amos’ recent signing of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge, reaffirming Aflac’s longstanding commitment to building productive, diverse and inclusive workplaces—principles that underscore Aflac’s long-time commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive corporate culture and workforce.
Chairman and CEO of Aflac Incorporated Daniel P. Amos commented, “The concept of diversity, equality and inclusion is not new at Aflac; it is a topic about which we at Aflac have been passionate for decades. Aflac has a long history of inclusiveness dating back to the U.S. Civil Rights movement when our principal founder, John Amos, actively worked with leaders engaged in issues of equality and fairness. We are proud to continue that good work and thrilled to take part in LISC’s Black Economic Development Fund. We view this as much more than just a financial investment; rather, we see it as an investment in society to help support schools, housing and small businesses within Black communities. Aflac’s founding principles have evolved into what is now known internally at Aflac as ‘The Aflac Way,’ a collection of guiding principles that reflects Aflac’s corporate culture: treating all of its constituents, both internal and external—with dignity, respect and fairness. Our investment in the Black Economic Development Fund speaks to that ideology, and it is our honor to be a part of it.”
“It’s encouraging to see corporations like Aflac extend their commitment to diversity and equality by investing their assets in communities of color,” said George Ashton, managing director of LISC Strategic Investments. “Aflac’s investment in the Black Economic Development Fund will help fuel broad social and economic benefits that will have a lasting impact on businesses, jobs, and economic growth throughout the country. With this investment, Aflac is setting the standard for its peers to do the same.”