The Duke Energy Foundation announced the recipients of $200,000 in employee-directed grants to nonprofit organizations in South Carolina committed to social justice and racial equity, part of an overall $1 million companywide commitment.
Grants will be distributed to 18 organizations across South Carolina.
In a first for the company, Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas tapped its Advocates for African Americans, a company employee-led resource group, as well as other diversity and inclusion councils to help identify and determine which organizations in each state should be considered to receive support.
“To say I enjoyed being a part of the process of steering funds to organizations that are making such a positive impact on our communities would be an understatement,” said Tiger Wells, Duke Energy’s state government affairs director in South Carolina and a member of the diversity and inclusion committee of employees who made grant decisions. “I’m proud of the company’s response and actions we are taking both internally and externally to be a driver for change.”
One example of an organization receiving support in South Carolina is the Big Brothers Big Sisters Upstate.
“We are so appreciative of this grant, especially with the uncertainty and challenges we all are dealing with daily,” said Charlene Cheeks, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters Upstate. “However, we must take every opportunity to denounce racism, bigotry and prejudice. Defending potential means we openly and consistently address the systemic barriers our children of color face. Racism is part of the trauma in many young lives. We must name it and act upon it every single day. Because we know that strong youth produces strong communities.”
Duke Energy is also strengthening its internal diversity and inclusion programs to foster greater awareness, respect and inclusion.
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 builds 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.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 29,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 2,300 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.
Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve 7.8 million retail electric customers in six states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to 1.6 million customers in five states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.
Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.