The coronavirus has defined 2020. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, from how we work to how we learn —the effects of COVID on our communities cannot be overstated. And while we all share setbacks, loss, and grief during this collective experience, it is clear that communities of color face additional obstacles because of systemic racism. We understand that words and thoughts will not dismantle this issue — it will take continued, sustained action to create equity.

We are committed to listening, learning, and, most importantly, taking action to create necessary change. One of these actions is partnering up with The Center for Excellence in Life (TCEL), founded by Mary Stutts, an accomplished corporate executive, author, and entrepreneur. TCEL’s mission is to break down roadblocks for underrepresented youth and young professionals. Through life skills development, mentoring, career counseling, and social and business etiquette training, TCEL is committed to making measurable changes.

This summer, many companies were forced to eliminate their in-person internship programs due to COVID-19, leaving students, specifically in underrepresented areas, without the tools needed to further their education and professional experience. TCEL did what they do best, saw a need, and created a solution — Mary and her daughter Loren designed an unprecedented program that allows students to connect with working professionals and gain real-world experience via video mentoring sessions.

So, when Mary and the TCEL team reached out to us to be a sponsor of this, we wanted to support and help provide resources, this is exactly the type of action required of us to help bring racial equity into education and the workplace. As W2O Founder & CEO, Jim Weiss said earlier this summer, “We will continue to work together to improve our profession across agencies and companies, with the broader goal of addressing systemic racism. That is one way we can change ourselves to change society.”

We’re proud to sponsor a program that addresses inequities to help dismantle racism in the workplace and that has helped over 80 students this summer gain the knowledge and resources they need to succeed in life.


If you’re interested in learning more about TCEL? Read their latest feature in Essence.