LOS ANGELES (PRWEB)
June 23, 2021
Last Saturday, Black-owned and women-led healthtech and student debt-relief nonprofit Shared Harvest, participated in Juneteenth: Freedom Day Celebration. The Freedom Day Celebration was centered in healing, self-care, and improved mental health within the Black community. The celebration marked the resiliency of the Black spirit, while also acknowledging the mental and emotional damage done by hundreds of years of systemic oppression.
Three years ago, Shared Harvest Fund (SHF) launched its SaaS social impact technology platform on Juneteenth of 2018 as a symbol for their commitment to leverage technology to break the shackles of student loan debt for skills-based volunteers. Juneeteenth is especially important to founders Drs. Nana Afoh-Manin, Briana DeCuir, and Joanne Moreau, who created the platform to effect change in company culture. It delivers the first employee-facing CSR tool that would also help eliminate student debt for employees who volunteered their skills with nonprofits who needed them most. Shared Harvest also serves as a CRA SaaS platform for banks and other financial institutions to measure their social impact. It is a win-win-win solution: companies can support employees in a meaningful way, banks can reduce the wealth gap in communities as a CRA partner, and people who are struggling with their debt can do purposeful work to receive reward stipends that directly pay down their student debt. In 2020, the platform became a trusted community partner providing COVID-19 relief services, vaccinations and health advocates to over 10,000 people while addressing the digital divide.
Higher education is often seen as a means of freedom, power, and upward mobility. However, Shared Harvest recognizes that many Black and Brown people have become burdened by the debt accrued while attending college which curtails their wealth accumulation for decades. This reality can cause Black and Brown people to either forego college or deal with the mental health fallout of being in serious debt and impacts the overall health of communities of color. Shared Harvest wants education to truly be a means of freedom, rather than becoming another vehicle of further marginalization and indentured servitude.
Though Shared Harvest’s recent efforts have been focused on providing the COVID-19 vaccine to thousands of people through pop-up vaccination sites, the organization is passionate about mental health and financial wellness. Last Saturday, Shared Harvest awarded a $5,000 Student Loan Giveaway to one member of their volunteer professional network.
“The intergenerational wealth gap is a real tragedy for the Black community. When I think about the struggle, bloodshed, and sacrifices endured by my ancestors, we are truly their wildest dreams, but much like sharecropping, our collective student debt is a nightmare, and we cannot expect that most Black professionals will just climb out of that debt. Companies who understand this and invest in their employee benefit programs will be more productive, attract and sustain diverse talent and win all around. We have to do more to support those who seek to improve themselves because it’s their talent and passion that make them and our society better for generations to come,” states Dr, NanaEfua Afoh-Manin, Founder & CEO of Shared Harvest Fund.
Shared Harvest is grateful to The Therapeutic Play Foundation and The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, who hosted The Juneteenth: Freedom Day Celebration event. It also would like to thank all the sponsors, especially Healthnet, California WIC, AAIMM and Black Infant Health. Shared Harvest is excited and proud to continue to advocate for mental health and work to change the lives of volunteers and community members. For press inquiries, please call or email Madeline Familia at 917.328.6509 and or email@example.com.
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