Elevate Together® Celebrates Black And Hispanic Businesses With ‘Day of Empowerment’ And $25k Fundraising Initiative

Boca Raton, FL (August 31, 2022) – ELEVATE TOGETHER®, a nonprofit initiative that addresses systemic discrimination and racial disparities in business, is celebrating Black and Hispanic small businesses with a series of digital initiatives this summer and fall, culminating in a “day of empowerment” and $25,000 fundraising effort on October 19, 2022. This exciting and impactful series dovetails with National Black Business Month (August) and Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), while supporting the Elevate Together mission of accelerating the creation, growth, and prosperity of Black and Hispanic businesses in communities across America.

“Through August and over the next few months, Elevate Together has been pulling out all the stops to celebrate, empower, and uplift Black and Hispanic businesses,” says Sharu Goodwyn, community investment manager for Office Depot. “One facet of our initiative is about awarding cash grants to Black and Hispanic small businesses, and we have been spotlighting our grant recipients from August through October. The excitement will culminate in Elevate Together Day, October 19, when our corporate and community partners, grant recipients, and Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses will come together to generate awareness and build support for this vital effort to level the playing field for minority-owned businesses.”

The ODP Corporation (founding partner of Elevate Together and parent company to Office Depot), established the nonprofit initiative in 2021 and helped to launch the program in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and South Florida. Since then, Elevate Together has continued to grow and impact businesses in more cities, expanding in 2022 to Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, and Phoenix.

During National Black Business Month and Hispanic Heritage Month, Elevate Together has recognized its Black-owned small business grant recipients on www.ElevateTogether.org and social media platforms each day in August, and will spotlight its Hispanic-owned small business grant recipients each day from September 15-October 15. Along the way, Elevate Together is building excitement and visibility for the initiative leading up to its special “day of empowerment” event.

The main Elevate Together Day event on October 19 will feature a virtual summit that includes a keynote address and an interactive round of speed networking with national business professionals. In addition, attendees will hear from grant recipients on their inspiring entrepreneurship journey and how Elevate Together has impacted their businesses.

Finally, the day of empowerment will align with the culmination of the organization’s $25,000 fundraising initiative: the Elevate Together $25K Challenge. In the months and weeks leading up to Elevate Together Day, the organization’s corporate and community partners will help to promote public and employee giving for the challenge. Funds raised will help Elevate Together continue to support minority-owned businesses through cash grants, mentoring, and other initiatives designed to empower and accelerate Black and Hispanic business success.

“Elevate Together helped us bounce back from a devastating warehouse fire that destroyed most of our inventory,” says Ruchama Jean Baptiste, owner of Lavie Scrubs. “I am proud to say that we not only recovered, but also transformed our office into a professional and productive workspace—thanks to the generous donation of furniture and office supplies from Elevate Together.”

For more information about Elevate Together Day, the Elevate Together $25K Challenge, and more, contact Sharu Goodwyn, community investment manager for Office Depot at sharu.goodwyn@officedepot.com or ​917.501.2024.

Elevate Together® powered by Round It Up America® is a non-profit initiative designed to address systemic discrimination and historical racial disparities in business growth and profitability in Black and Hispanic communities. Through a partnership with the National Urban League and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the initiative delivers education, access and aid to Black and Hispanic small businesses. Founded by The ODP Corporation, Elevate Together® is supported by a coalition of like-minded companies with a mission to strengthen our local communities, foster job creation, and close the racial wealth gap. Learn more at www.elevatetogether.org.



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