One lesson that organizations have learned so far in 2020 is that marginalized communities face greater burdens. COVID-19 has brought these populations new challenges and exasperated existing ones. At the same time, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have brought to light the need for radical systematic change. Successfully addressing this will require business, government and philanthropy coming together to level the playing field for all those who are marginalized. For this reason, companies must double down on their diversity and inclusion efforts, particularly for individuals with a criminal record. As one of the country’s most stigmatized groups that disproportionately affects people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals have always faced a tough road to employment. Now with the pandemic, it’s worsening, which makes workforce development programs and career pathways even more critical.
Televerde, the first and only fully integrated sales and marketing technology organization with a proven execution model for generating demand and accelerating sales, is announcing the formation of the non-profit Televerde Foundation to provide personal and professional development opportunities to disempowered populations, starting with women currently and formerly incarcerated in Arizona and Indiana who make up Televerde’s workforce. The foundation will enable them to develop the skills they need to build meaningful and rewarding careers and successfully reintegrate into their communities. Michelle Cirocco, Televerde’s chief social impact officer, will serve as the executive director of the foundation.
“As we’re seeing in our world today, the importance of organizations to keep diversity and inclusion at the forefront of their business strategies and recovery plans cannot be overstated. We must work to create a new reality where everyone can succeed in today’s labor market. For Televerde, this means emphasizing workforce development opportunities and career pathways for our incarcerated teams, which is the mission of the Televerde Foundation,” said Morag Lucey, CEO of Televerde. “Televerde’s commitment to changing the lives of 10,000 disempowered people by 2030 is the driver for launching the Televerde Foundation. We see a real business, societal and economic need for incarcerated women to have a strong support system as they transition back into their communities and enter the global workforce. This is the work on which the Televerde Foundation will focus and it will be life-changing.”
The Televerde Foundation will use proven best practice models and certified, accredited curricula to ensure all program participants receive relevant, useful and reputable training and education. In addition, the foundation will partner and collaborate with government agencies, service providers, non-profits, faith-based organizations, community partners, higher-ed institutions and for-profit businesses in order to provide a complete suite of services necessary for successful reentry and career development.
The Televerde Foundation has developed the PATHS Program to enable women to Prepare, Achieve and Transform for Healthy Success. The program begins up to one-year prior to release and includes a robust personal and professional development curriculum. The Televerde Foundation continues to provide support after release with educational opportunities, including the ability to receive scholarships from the James Hooker Endowment for Future Scholars and access to personal and professional mentoring.
Specific programming will focus on several core areas, including:
- Personal Wellness
- Workplace Readiness
- Employment Strategies
- Financial Literacy
- Lifelong Learning
“I am wholly committed to helping women transform their lives and am thrilled to lead the Televerde Foundation in doing so,” said Michelle Cirocco, Televerde’s chief social impact officer and executive director of the Televerde Foundation. “We have important work ahead to build the equitable futures that we imagine for everyone, particularly for women with a criminal record. I’m grateful for this opportunity to work with my Televerde colleagues, my business network and our local communities to build new relationships to help grow the foundation’s impact and achieve Televerde’s goal of transforming 10,000 lives over the next 10 years.”