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free to dream

WHAT IS FREE TO DREAM

At American Family Insurance, we are committed to inspiring, protecting and restoring dreams. With this purpose comes the responsibility to ensure that EVERYONE has the ability and access to make their dreams possible.

Over the next five years, we are investing $105 million as part of our Free to Dream initiative to bridge equity gaps, build healthy, sustainable communities and fight for social justice.

This commitment expands upon our ongoing corporate activism, combining our resources to heal and empower our communities. We will not stop until we are all free to dream fearlessly.

FEATURED INITIATIVES

Creating Businesses to Prevent Recidivism

The American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact partnered up with nationally-ranked startup accelerator gener8tor to create the gBETA Social Impact program. Through our investments in community partnerships and high-impact social enterprises, we’re helping to limit recidivism, broaden employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated — and advocate for public policy change towards a more equitable and humane justice system.

  1. gBeta Institute Pitch Night

     

    SPEAKER 1: What we plan to do is build an app or online platform that is like LinkedIn where people can say, hey, I'm having a problem I need some help.

    NYRA JORDAN: I am so thrilled to see all of these people here today. This is exciting.

    SPEAKER 2: The goal is to have the formerly incarcerated to help each other navigate their new lives. And so it's a self-help kind of model.

    LAUREN USHER: The progress that the companies have made has been phenomenal.

    NYRA JORDAN; Just to hear the conversations about what those things are and to hear these real entities that now exist that didn't exists a month ago, I think that's what I hope to come out of this. To me, that's the success.

    LAUREN USHER: They've really narrowed in and honed in on specific problems. A lot of them are saying, I wish I had this when I was coming out.

    SPEAKER 4: What we're looking to do, is we're creating a platform that alleviates all of the stigma and the biases from an employer and helps kind of even the playing field for those of us who may have strikes against us in the hiring pool.

    NYRA JORDAN: We will absolutely be here to continue to support them and provide the resources that they need for these businesses to be successful.

    SPEAKER 5: We really want to help the kids, the kids of incarcerated parents, that we feel need a little extra support and guidance to be able to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship.

    LAUREN USHER: So whether it's thinking about the kids of people who are incarcerated, or people who are currently incarcerated and about to be released, or people who have been released and are having trouble finding a support system, they're really thinking about very specific issues.

    SPEAKER 6: We develop's mission is to provide incarcerated persons with software development skills and business organizations with affordable entry level software development team member. We are dedicated to our participants professional success into meeting our business client's software development needs.

    NYRA JORDAN: I think we saw with what we've done with this event and with this effort, that what you can do with access and opportunity and the ideas of that can come from that, and the energy that can come from. That there is real innovation when people are given a chance.

    LAUREN USHER: Their work will become real and they are going to help people in the way that they set out to, because they're very, highly motivated.

    NYRA JORDAN: It's those communities, like this community, that is dealing with the issue of incarceration and the challenges faced with reentry every day that can come up with the solutions, because they are living these problems. But the fact that we've given them voice and given them access to resources to take that idea to the next level is incredible social impact in my opinion. Incredible social impact. 

BRIDGING THE EQUITY GAPS THROUGH

Workplace_Diversity
Workforce Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We are taking critical steps to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are a core standard in how we do business and partner with the greater community.

We’ve seen first-hand how diverse teams are more productive and innovative in an inclusive environment. We believe diversity and inclusion give us a competitive edge and help us solve customer challenges through unique perspectives, real dialogue and empathy.

Each day we stand committed to fostering a more diverse and inclusive culture that empowers and engages our most valuable asset — our people.

Economic_Empowerment
Economic Empowerment

The wealth gap in America presents barriers for Black, Indigenous, and people of color as they strive to achieve their dreams. Everyone deserves access to the skills they need for career opportunities – and the business support they need to save for their family’s future or to succeed financially through entrepreneurship.

To work towards this, we’re investing in workforce development initiatives including our own Fair Chance Hiring Program, and helping small business owners — especially BIPOC entrepreneurs—expand and hire more people.

We believe in economic empowerment for all. We have a responsibility to use American Family’s influence and resources to build a more inclusive economy.

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Justice Reform

Helping people have the freedom to dream begins with creating opportunity, social equity, financial mobility and hope. This includes those impacted by the legal system.

It’s why we believe criminal justice reform is so vital — to positively affect the societal and economic outcomes of traditionally marginalized communities. It’s also why we’re passionate about creating equal access to justice — as legal services are inaccessible or unaffordable to the majority of low- and middle-income Americans.

We’re investing in community partnerships and high-impact social enterprises to limit recidivism, broaden employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated and advocate for public policy change towards a more equitable and humane justice system.

Education_Health_Equity
Education & Health Equity

Equity gaps in educational experiences, a lack of access to quality and affordable care and disparate opportunities persist in America’s education and youth support systems.

Data shows that youth who experience equity in education not only build stronger, healthier families and communities – they also fuel a more diverse and inclusive workforce. It’s why we believe in funding and collaborating with equity-centered programs and social impact organizations that help young people thrive in school – and beyond. 

Today we’re partnering with community organizations like MMSD ROCKiT that use innovation to solve education-based equity challenges, and investing in companies like BookNook to grow and scale impact in reading. We’re also advocating for youth through our collaboration with the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association and our stewardship of student pipeline programs like gener8tor Social Impact and CEOs of Tomorrow.

Climate_Resilience
Climate Resilience

Our world is witnessing an increased frequency and severity of record-setting weather events. This puts our customers and communities at risk. To enhance climate and community resilience across the country we are committed to acting now. We believe that health justice, educational justice, economic justice, and racial justice are dependent on environmental justice. Our efforts to reduce our own environmental impacts will help support a thriving and more equitable future.

We are investing to build resilience so our customers, colleagues, and communities can respond when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges.


FREE TO DREAM NEWS

Our Family Portrait

Meet some of the American Family’s innovators and changemakers behind Free to Dream.


Chair & CEO, American Family Insurance

“We must use our voice and financial strength to help create communities where all are free to pursue their dreams.”


Yasir Kamal

Inclusive Excellence Vice President, American Family Insurance

“When we encourage the authentic capabilities of our employees, we create life-changing solutions for families in our communities. That’s what diversity, equity and inclusion is really about.”


Social Impact Investment Director, American Family Institute

"Systems in this country for justice-involved individuals are broken and have failed communities around this country. With American Family’s efforts internally to include justice-involved individuals in our workforce goals, we’re doing our part to help close this equity gap while simultaneously expanding our access to talented individuals."


Social Investment Managing Director, American Family Institute

"In the United States, we have these big gaps in different communities based on their income and other backgrounds. So we believe we can close these gaps so that we can all have great opportunities to grow as individuals and as communities and that needs to be distributed more evenly across the United States."

WORKING TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE & EQUITY

THE TIME IS NOW TO GO BEYOND WORDS AND TAKE DELIBERATE AND EXTENSIVE ACTION TO DRIVE PROFOUND CHANGE.