Scholarships, business ownership, leadership development, and community development are central to the work of the NAAIA Foundation. The organization will support those who help African Americans enjoy success in Insurance and Financial Services as well as African American communities impacted by disasters.
The foundation’s leadership is aware that its efforts can touch many lives. “I believe that we have a potential of having a broad impact into the communities that we want to support,” said Anise Wiley-Little, a NAAIA Foundation board member.
Scholarship is one of three areas of focus mentioned by NAAIA Foundation CEO and Chair Ken Branch. The foundation will help support scholarships for undergraduates studying insurance, finance, or business, as well as adults seeking continuing education and leadership training.
“And then once people get in the business, there’s always this opportunity to not just be a part of the business, but to own your own piece of the business,” Branch said, adding that the foundation will help support agency ownership.
And “the final piece—that to me goes back to the very foundation of insurance and why we’re in this business— is when communities of African Americans are hit by disasters, we want to provide some economic support for organizations that are aligned with our primary mission,” Branch said.
While some progress has been made over time, only 13 percent of workers in the Insurance industry are African American, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wiley-Little believes a holistic approach that includes increased awareness and financial support can lead to more African Americans working in the industry and more African American agency ownership.
“It’s not only the awareness, but it’s allowing the individuals to be prepared. If we can do things that allow them to be ready when the opportunity presents itself, then it will make a huge difference,” she said.
Branch stressed the importance of mentorship in helping African Americans thrive in the industry. “When it comes to ownership, there are very few African American role models, so connecting with someone who can help mentor you into the business is a really important part of the work,” he said.
The NAAIA Foundation’s Inaugural Fundraiser on March 30 in Atlanta will help fund existing nonprofit organizations supporting educational scholarships, leadership development, community redevelopment, and insurance agency minority ownership. Learn more and register at naaiafoundation.org.