Looking back to move forward.

By: Raquel Wilson

2020's call for social justice and where Citizen Verizon will take us in 2021.

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On today’s Up To Speed, Raquel reminds us that 2020 will be remembered not only for the COVID-19 pandemic, but also as a year of reckoning for social and racial justice issues. Here at Verizon, we’ve listened, learned and worked hard to help build a more equitable future.

This year, we’ve worked toward solutions on on multiple fronts:

  • Hans initiated an honest conversation about race and social justice.
  • We started #Next20, a series dedicated to the issues that will define the next 20 years.
  • More than 24,000 V Teamers participated in the Virtual March on Washington.
  • We hosted a series of conversations about the realities of race, including 130 conversations through the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) alone.
  • We supported further dialogue in and outside our walls with the help of Verizon’s social justice toolkit.

Citizen Verizon

While we stepped up for society in 2020, next year will be just as challenging for vulnerable community members as they continue to navigate the far-reaching and devastating impacts of COVID-19.

That’s why we introduced Citizen Verizon, our responsible business plan that reinforces our long-standing commitment to economic, environmental and social advancement.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the latest and greatest achievements under the Citizen Verizon banner, starting with our first pillar Digital Inclusion.

In 2020 alone:

  • We expanded Verizon Innovative Learning to offer 3M+ teachers free training for digital education.
  • When New York City schools pivoted to remote learning, we hooked them up — literally —- with connectivity and resources, a $43M commitment that supported 39,000 students.
  • We partnered with The New York Times to offer 14M students free access to NYTimes.com.

If this year taught us anything, it’s that we can’t take what we have for granted. That’s why we dialed up our urgency and kept moving our climate protection commitments — our second pillar — forward:

At the same time, as we work to move the world forward, we want to make sure nobody gets left behind. That’s why our efforts under Human Prosperity — our third pillar — are critical to help society get ready for the future. Also in 2020, we announced our partnership with nonprofit Generation to close the opportunity gap and reskill workers.

Looking ahead

In a year like no other, we never lost sight of what matters most. Being a responsible business is core to who we are. It powers our purpose and guides every decision we make as a company. You play a role, too. Every V Teamer helps us move the world forward for good.

So as we make our resolutions and ring in the new year, one thing we can all agree on is that we can’t slow down in 2021. Communities need our support, now more than ever, and we will be there to help, with Citizen Verizon leading the way.

Don’t miss the 2021 Kickoff

Don’t forget to catch the 2021 Kickoff with Hans and our leadership team on January 4 at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

Tell us what you think of Up To Speed.

About the author(s):

Raquel Wilson is a former adfellow and now on her way to becoming a communications pro. You can always rely on her to have a good book recommendation and a latte she probably paid way too much for.

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