AbbVie Announces Partners in $50 Million Program to Promote Health and Education Equity in Underserved Black Communities

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AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, is investing $50 million in a five-year program to support underserved Black communities across the United States. AbbVie will collaborate with six nonprofit partners, including Direct ReliefUniversity of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health InitiativeNational Urban LeagueYear UpUnited Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Providence St. Mel School, to support health and education opportunity in underserved Black communities.

“The private sector has a responsibility to help address racial inequity issues plaguing our nation,” said Richard A. Gonzalez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AbbVie. “We believe investing in this important work – in partnership with national and local nonprofits – will create immediate opportunities and advance meaningful and lasting change.”

Supporting health and educational equity, as well as advancing opportunity, have been an integral part of AbbVie’s ongoing philanthropic commitment. Since the company was formed in 2013, AbbVie has donated more than $120 million to diverse underserved communities, and in June of this year, the company announced an additional donation of $5 million to NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Equal Justice Initiative.

“We asked partners with deep community roots where they saw the greatest needs, and we heard that reducing health disparities and providing educational and workforce-related opportunities for underserved Black communities were urgent yet ongoing needs,” said Karen Hale, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at AbbVie, who spearheaded AbbVie’s initiative. “While we know that change cannot happen overnight, we hope our commitments will help improve opportunity today while supporting important work to address long-term, systemic issues of racism.”

AbbVie’s 5-year, $50 million Program to Address Racial Inequities 

  1. Promote Health Equity for Black Americans and Other Historically Underserved Populations:
  • $8 Millionto University of Chicago Medicine’s Urban Health Initiative to empower Chicago’s South Side community—made up of 77 percent Black residents— to advance health equity. AbbVie’s support will enable local teams of community health workers to promote access to care and resources proven to measurably reduce health disparities.
  • $10 Millionto Direct Relief to support the improvement of health care services at free and charitable clinics and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). AbbVie’s support will launch the “Fund for Health Equity,” which will improve care across the country in underserved Black communities.
  1. Foster Workforce Development Opportunities for Black Americans 
  • $10 Millionto UNCF Healthcare Diversity Workforce Program, as seed funding to reduce barriers to advancement in health professions and increase the number of Black professionals in a wide variety of health care careers. Scholarship, academic and career development support will be provided to students who are interested in a career in health care, but who might otherwise not have an opportunity to go beyond high school.
  • $10 Millionto Year Up to support its training and internship program for more than 600 young adults (ages 18-26). AbbVie’s support will enable technical skills training that is relevant and aligned with industry demand.
  1. Expand Educational Opportunities for Historically Underserved Youth and Young Adults
  • $1.5 Millionto Providence St. Mel School (PSM) to fund scholarships for high school students living in Chicago’s Southwest side based on financial need and academic potential. This independent, predominantly Black high school has had a 100 percent college acceptance rate since 1978.
  • $7 Millionto National Urban League’s Project Ready Mentorto lead a mentorship program for Black Americans and other historically underserved youth (ages 11-18). AbbVie’s funding will provide mentorship in three new cities and expand existing programs in 11 cities to improve post-secondary success.
  1. Encouraging Employees to Support Justice Reform Organizations with a 3:1 match.
  • $3.5 Millionin Reserve: As part of today’s announcement, AbbVie is expanding its employee matching program to $3-to-$1 for donations to civil rights nonprofits fostering racial equity.


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