At Southwest Airlines, we believe in championing causes that matter most and ensure our investments mirror the diverse communities we serve. As our nation continues to have crucial conversations around racial injustice, we recognize the importance of supporting organizations doing crucial work in this space.
In June, we made a $500,000 donation* to two longtime Partners: the National Urban League and 100 Black Men of America. We have proudly supported these organizations for several years and it’s an honor to advocate the great work they do to promote education, mentorship, and leadership development in Black communities across the country.
100 Black Men of America, Inc. is committed to the intellectual development of youth and the economic empowerment of the African American community based on the following precepts: respect for family, spirituality, justice, and integrity.
The longtime support and continued commitment of Southwest Airlines to our organization have enabled us to provide youth programs, scholarships, leadership development training, and expand our organizations’ reach and influence.
The Southwest Airlines grant we received in June will be distributed to five 100 Black Men Chapters. Our mission is to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans and minorities. We seek to serve as a beacon of leadership, utilizing our diverse talents to create environments where our children are motivated to achieve and to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the economic and social fabric of the communities we serve. The pillars of our organization are mentoring, education, health and wellness, economic empowerment, and leadership.
Proceeds from this grant will be applied to college scholarships for mentees, developing youth programs by providing “business plan training” and “Shark Tank Presentations,” and stipends for the youth.
The grant from Southwest will also allow us to take our mentees on tours to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) such as Alabama State University, Alcorn State University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Southern University, and Tuskegee University. The college tour is titled “The Next Chapter” because we want our mentees to start thinking intently about the next chapter of their lives as soon as possible, and to make any necessary adjustments to ensure their admission into the college and/or university of their choice.
Enabling our mentees to visit these campuses, and to interact with current university students—many of whom will be Collegiate 100 members at their respective schools—will hopefully reinforce our mentees’ beliefs that bright academic futures are within their reach. The tour will also feature visits to various historical landmarks along the way, as an effort to continue to raise our mentees’ awareness of the importance of the fight for social justice and racial equality.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools being temporarily closed and classes being taught virtually, students who lack access to technology and resources are at a disadvantage. The 100 seeks to bridge the digital divide by ensuring disadvantaged students have appropriate electronic equipment and WiFi to complete their assignments.
*This donation was made through the Southwest Airlines Foundation (a corporate-advised fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation)