In the Age of Covid, Okta Celebrates OAACC and their Commitment to Minority-Owned, Small Businesses
Last Summer was a difficult time for many of us—a turning point in American history. The events of the time spurred a lot of reactions, and in July of last year, POC @ Okta felt compelled to speak out. But the Okta family of employees and leadership wanted more than talk, which required a clear commitment and ongoing support to our wider POC community.
On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, we were extremely honored to be invited to and participate in the Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce’s (OAACC) Chairman's Reopening Reception, celebrating "Building Back Stronger, Together".
The event recognized Okta and other major donors to their Resiliency Relief Fund, which allowed OAACC to fund nearly 250 grants to Black-owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount raised exceeded 1.1 million dollars.
What is OAACC
The Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce supports small black and minority-owned business development and strives to close the growing wealth gap in Oakland. With over 200 members, all were struggling to survive the impact of COVID-19. Participating businesses span a wide variety of industries, but are typically small enterprises with under 10 employees. Most often, they are self-employed or a single owner. The resiliency fund was created to help these member businesses with funding and support.
How Okta was able to help
Through our Racial Justice and Equity Employee Advisory Board, Okta granted $100,000 in philanthropic funding and partnership initiatives to the OAACC for their Covid-19 Resiliency Relief Program.
The Racial Justice and Equity Employee Advisory Board was created to enable conscious and intentional involvement in the work of driving substantive and lasting change towards racial equity. Its grant-giving campaign is directed towards both local and national organizations, focused on areas of economic equality and development, voter rights, and educational equality.
We are extremely excited to support OAACC and its important mission to provide economic relief and administrative support to local African-American and minority-owned small businesses.
OAACC’s Chairman’s Reopening Reception
On a more personal note, during the event, Okta was honored with special recognition for the donation to the Resiliency Fund. Nola Turnage and Pamala Simpson of our POC leadership (pictured with the Mayor of Oakland, Libby Schaaf, and POC member Trinh Nguyen) were each presented with awards for their leadership and support.
While attending the OAACC’s Re-opening Reception, we were personally thanked by small business owners that benefited from the relief fund, including the Busy Wife with a long family history of restaurants in Oakland, and Kamnisha Wellness, whose goal is to create a synergetic balance for restorative, maintenance and sustaining wellness.
“Thank you once again for the grant my company, Kamnisha Wellness received as a result of Okta’s grant to the OAACC COVID Relief Fund. We appreciate you Okta!” —Trevor Nigel, Owner, Kamnisha Wellness
We’re not done
This was truly a moment to celebrate, but it’s also painfully clear that there’s so much more to do. POC@Okta is excited and committed to continuing our support of small businesses by offering Okta employees the opportunity to volunteer some of their time and expertise to help provide some mentorship to business members of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce.
“A cash donation from anyone at Okta is identical to a cash donation from anyone in the world. But the offering of our time and expertise can be invaluable to these small businesses, so that is where our efforts should go.” —POC@Okta Leadership.
So, Okta employees, take note! To volunteer your time and talent, you can register at http://bit.ly/okta-oaacc.