We are committed to building inclusive communities where everyone is treated with fairness and respect. We help communities thrive by partnering with local organizations to create more inclusive places to live and work, and we inspire and empower educators and students to create more inclusive environments in schools.
Our signature ALL IN ERG Fund competitive grant program engages Dow’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to champion projects in Dow communities. In 2020, $250,000 in seed funding was granted for community projects.
Examples of projects funded through the ALL IN ERG Fund in 2020 include:
In addition to the ALL IN ERG Fund, in 2020, Dow gave a total of $3.8 million in grants to support multiple and diverse nonprofit organizations focused on inclusion, diversity and equity. For example, the Dow Promise grant program was strengthened financially to increase donations to projects that will positively impact Black communities near Dow locations that are facing educational and economic challenges.
In 2020, Dow committed more than $10 million in support over the next five years to address systemic racism and racial inequality through a holistic plan, Dow ACTs. Through this strategic plan, we partnered with the U.S. Chamber Coalition to Back Black Businesses to award $5,000 grants to 25 Black-owned small businesses in Dow communities. We pledged more than $5 million to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for programming, partnership and support to enhance the Black STEM talent pipeline. We also pledged $1 million to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice. Learn more about our actions through Dow ACTs here.
Dow India helped rural women entrepreneurs at the fourth Mann Deshi Mahotsav – a flagship event and a channel to market for businesswomen. The Mann Deshi Foundation empowers rural women with the knowledge, skills and access to capital to start a new business and become economically empowered. Its business schools have seen an impressively high success rate, as more than 50% of women who undergo training reported an increase in their monthly incomes. Drawing more than 60,000 people, the Mann Deshi Mahotsav offered a place where farmers, artisans and women entrepreneurs could exhibit and market their local produce and artifacts. The Mahotsav also created a platform to spread awareness on how small efforts in segregating packaging material can divert waste to landfills and help in recycling for future use.
Sharon Singh, a Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics customer manager and member of Dow’s Disability Employee Network, championed the Plastics for Recycling wheelchair project in South Africa after she saw how a family member who was disabled and unable to afford a wheelchair could not live a normal life. This led Singh to submit the Sweethearts Foundation’s Tops & Tags Initiative for grant money through Dow’s ALL IN ERG Fund. The nonprofit works with corporations, schools and volunteers to salvage the plastic of bottle tops and bread tags. Once collected, these items are recycled by a converter into seedling trays, frames, biscuit trays and other products. The converters provide either wheelchairs or money to purchase wheelchairs in exchange for the recycled plastic.
Thousands of South Africans remain bedridden or rely on family members to carry them because they lack access and funds to buy wheelchairs. Others turn to makeshift, unsafe homemade alternatives. “Advancing a circular economy while changing lives is a win-win,” Singh said. “The simple act of obtaining a wheelchair represents freedom and opportunity. With a wheelchair, beneficiaries have been able to get an education, gain employment and be less reliant on others.”