For 23 years, Allstate Insurance Company has partnered with the Chicago Urban League, providing significant financial support for the League's programs, initiatives, and signature fundraising events. For the past two years, Allstate has served as the Lead funding partner of the League’s Urban Youth Connection, a youth violence prevention program designed to help adolescent African American males, ages 13-21 to participate positively at home with their families and within their schools and communities. In the following Q&A, Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations at Allstate, and a Chicago Urban League Board Member, discusses Allstate’s commitment to community investment, and the motivation for her personal commitment to philanthropy and volunteerism.
Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations at Allstate and Chicago Urban League Board Member
What is your role at Allstate?
As a senior vice president of Corporate Relations, my role is to help bring Allstate’s story to life. It’s a story that’s about so much more than insurance – Allstate helps people realize their hopes and dreams, protects them from life’s uncertainties and prepares them for the future.
I lead the communications teams for Allstate’s Chairman and CEO, President and Chief Financial Officer, as well as for the company’s largest business units. I also help shape Allstate’s reputation in the marketplace by managing the company’s media relations strategy. Through this work, our team strives to ensure that consumers understand who we are and what sets Allstate apart from other companies. We’re confident that as people know the many ways Allstate helps them live a good life, they will look to us to help protect what matters most to them.
Explain Allstate’s commitment to community investment, particularly youth development and empowerment?
For 85 years, Allstate has been a force for good. The Good Hands are more than a slogan. We believe in addressing societal challenges and making the world a better place. In 2015, Allstate employees and agency owners dedicated 230,000 hours of service across the country.
We work to bring out the good in people’s lives, especially our youth. We empower young people to solve problems in their schools, their communities and throughout the world. Our Chairman and CEO Tom Wilson has said that we shouldn’t show kids the way, we should empower them and then get OUT of their way.
Through our programs, investments and strong partners, like the Chicago Urban League, we work to give students the strength, confidence and skills to do the right thing, stand up for themselves and others, step up as leaders and realize their full potential. We believe good starts young: When young people believe in themselves and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become leaders, they will use their voices to create positive change in our world.
In the last three years, our employees and agency owners volunteered their time to support and empower more than 1.3 million young people.
Why has Allstate remained a longtime partner of the Chicago Urban League, and how do you see that partnership evolving moving forward?
We share the Chicago Urban League’s commitment to improving the quality of life in our mutual hometown. Together, we provide jobs for high-risk youth and educational programs for new business owners in the African American community. We’re working to help people achieve economic self-sufficiency and personal success.
Moving forward, Allstate is proud to sponsor the Chicago Urban League's Urban Youth Connection. UYC is a violence prevention program designed to prevent youth violence and criminal justice system interactions by equipping adolescent African American males with the skills, resources and relationships to thrive in their home and community life. This summer the program will reach 175 high-risk young men, ages 13-21. The younger participants complete intensive job readiness training, as well as weekly academic and cultural enrichment activities, and volunteer in their communities. The older youth are supported in their efforts to secure and retain summer employment.
This is just one of the many ways Allstate and the Chicago Urban League work together to provide young people with opportunities to reach their full potential.
How long have you served on the Chicago Urban League Board of Directors, and what motivated you to take on this leadership role?
I have served on the Board of Directors for nearly two years. I joined because I believe there is a great need for corporations and nonprofits to work together to create solutions to some of the most challenging issues we face as a society. It is only through our combined efforts and shared accountability that we will understand the root causes of social inequities and make transformational and sustainable progress.
Why is philanthropy and volunteering important to you personally?
Improving the lives of others is core to my faith and purpose in life. Quite simply, I firmly believe in being an “upstander” and not a bystander when it comes to serving my community. I am so fortunate to work with a company like Allstate that prioritizes service and takes a stand to drive societal change. I’m also grateful to partner with the Chicago Urban League to make a positive difference in people’s lives and build strong communities in our city.