Las Vegas Sands today announced a $400,000 investment in community organizations working to empower minority and ethnically diverse groups through Sands Cares, the company’s community engagement and charitable giving program. Through these partnerships, Sands is focused on helping the community address systemic racism and remove inherent barriers to advancement and opportunity.
The Sands Cares diversity community engagement strategy involves two priorities: education and mentorship to support youth and workforce empowerment, and advancing social justice through advocacy and awareness. Organizations receiving funding in these areas include Nevada Partners, 100 Black Men Las Vegas, the Urban Chamber of Commerce Las Vegas, Hope for Prisoners, Mastering Mindsets Las Vegas, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. – Las Vegas, and the Las Vegas Urban League.
“Since the race-related events of 2020 sparked a deeper and more passionate conversation about the impact of systemic racism in our society, we’ve taken a hard look at how our company can more impactfully address race issues and be a catalyst for positive change,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands. “We’ve taken measured steps to listen to the needs and viewpoints of our Team Members and met with key leaders of organizations that empower diverse groups to better understand how we can help advance their initiatives and provide solutions.”
As part of the Sands Cares diversity community engagement strategy, Sands is providing Nevada Partners with $250,000 in funding, one of the organization’s largest corporate donations to date, to address education and youth development in the West Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood. Funds will support literacy programs, a variety of youth camps and mentoring programs, and the soon-to-be-launched Youth Empowerment Center, which will offer opportunities in technology and the arts to advance youth education.
According to Nevada Partners, families living in West Las Vegas are predominantly people of color, encounter more social and behavioral problems, have lower test scores, and are more likely to drop out of school and experience high crime rates, unemployment, hunger and limited access to affordable housing. Investments in education and youth development are the center of the organization’s work and its greatest opportunity to affect change.
“This year has marked a moment in time when people are choosing to show greater support for these long-standing and sometimes ignored issues,” said Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, executive director of Nevada Partners. “We are grateful to Las Vegas Sands for its truly authentic commitment to moving the needle through this work. It is really powerful when the people behind the investments care, and that’s what we get from Sands.”
As part of the diversity community engagement strategy, Sands Cares also is contributing $100,000 to 100 Black Men Las Vegas to support its CrossRoads Mentoring and Life Skills program, Pathways to Public Service program, KCEP Teen Talk public radio talk show and the COVID-19 Community PPE program, which provides masks, gloves and sanitizer to community members. In addition, Sands and 100 Black Men of Las Vegas will be exploring future collaborative opportunities such as internships and mentoring.
“The Sands Cares donation will have exponential impact on these programs; for instance, we can more than double the number of youth mentored and expand our reach to different age groups through the CrossRoads program,” said Gentry Richardson, president and chief executive of 100 Black Men Las Vegas. “We have previously worked with Sands on our scholarship program and other projects, but this new award is one of the most significant we’ve received from a Las Vegas organization.”
Rounding out the Sands Cares’ diversity community engagement strategy, Sands also has made a series of contributions to the other designated local organizations, which will further drive its commitment to removing barriers experienced by minority and ethnic communities through education, mentorship and social justice initiatives.