Duke Energy, through its foundation, today announced the recipients of more than $1 million in employee-directed grants to nonprofit organizations committed to social justice and racial equity.
Grants will be distributed to 80 organizations across seven states where the company has electric and gas customers – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
On June 8, Duke Energy pledged $1 million to support social justice and racial equity. In a first for the company, Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas employees helped identify which organizations in each state would receive support. Those came from the company’s Advocates for African Americans employee resource group, as well as other diversity and inclusion councils.
A complete list of grantees can be found here.
“When Duke Energy committed to giving $1 million across its jurisdictions to support social justice and racial equity and engaged employees to identify and direct the funds in our communities, I was honored to be a part of the process,” said Chiquita Clark, chair of Duke Energy’s Florida chapter of Advocates for African Americans and member of Duke Energy’s enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Council. “I’m proud of the company’s response and actions we are taking both internally and externally to be a positive voice for change.”
One example of an organization receiving support to reduce disparate outcomes is the Pinellas County, Fla., Urban League.
“Our Pinellas County Urban League and our Urban League Young Professionals are pleased to partner with Duke Energy in heightening our role of being a major advocate, especially for those people who are most vulnerable in society, seeking, in part, to ensure their voices are heard on issues important to them, and their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives,” said Watson L. Haynes II, president and CEO, Pinellas County Urban League.
Duke Energy is also strengthening its internal diversity and inclusion programs to foster greater awareness, respect and inclusion.
“Duke Energy is committed to being part of the long-term solution to end systemic racism and inequality,” said Joni Davis, Duke Energy chief diversity and inclusion officer. “We believe in living by our values and cultivating a workplace and community that make diversity, equity and inclusion a priority.”
In addition to these grants, employees also have the opportunity to support local organizations through the Duke Energy Foundation’s matching grant program, Dollars4Good, as well as its Hours4Good program, which enables employees to earn grants for volunteer hours logged.
The $1 million in grants and expanded internal programs build upon the company’s past efforts to support and encourage diversity, inclusion and equity in our company and communities.
The company will continue to engage local organizations and leaders to understand how to be a part of the long-term solution to the social justice issues our communities face.
Learn more on Duke Energy’s illumination website about the employee-directed grant process.