Believe Chicago initiative celebrates hiring of 500th employee and shares progress updates

AUDIENCE Network’s documentary “Beacons of Hope – Stories of Strength from Chicago” highlights individuals and organizations making a difference

AT&T* has expanded its diversity supplier program with a commitment to spend $3 billion with black suppliers across the U.S. by 2020. This commitment is inspired by community-driven initiatives such as Believe Chicago, to help push economic growth and innovation.

Believe Chicago is an AT&T employee initiative to improve lives and lift Chicago neighborhoods most affected by gun violence and high unemployment. Less than a year into its effort, the impact is making a difference: We recently hired the 500th employee from the Believe Chicago neighborhoods, have contributed more than $3 million to community organizations and will open our first new retail store in the area later this month.

“The progress is real and it’s making a difference for our employees, customers, neighbors and friends who live and work in Chicago,” said John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications. “We’re not only taking this great model and customizing it for other cities, we’re also re-energizing other facets of our community engagement and Diversity & Inclusion programming.”

Our $3 billion spend commitment aligns with our expanded approach and allows us the opportunity to simply do more within the black community.

“We are committed to working with diverse suppliers that help bring unique perspectives, skills and fresh ideas to enhance our company’s success,” said Susan Johnson, executive vice president—Global Connections and Supply Chain, AT&T. “Our new spend commitment is just another example of how AT&T is proudly investing in the communities we serve and diversifying our suppliers.”

Since 1968, AT&T has spent over $158 billion with minority, woman, service-disabled veteran, and LGBT businesses. AT&T’s Supplier Diversity program recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and refreshed its approach to focus our efforts on making meaningful and measurable contributions to the economic growth of diverse companies and communities. See our 2017 Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report to learn more.

Believe Chicago is hosting the AUDIENCE Network’s premiere of the new documentary, “Beacons of Hope – Stories of Strength from Chicago” on Monday night at the Kennedy-King College Theater. The documentary, slated for national release in March, features five extraordinary people and their efforts to improve the quality of life in Chicago’s 19 neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.