Our Path Forward To Racial Equity

Jun 17, 2021

The life insurance industry firmly believes that everyone, no matter their age, job, income, gender or race, deserves the chance to build financial certainty that will serve and protect them in good times and bad. For too long, however, racial injustice and systemic inequity have excluded people of color from traditional pathways to financial security.

Our industry has accelerated our commitment to serve all Americans following the tragic murder of George Floyd last year and the resulting national reckoning on racial inequity.

One year ago ACLI signed the CEO Action Pledge, which commits organizations to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. ACLI was among the first associations to have 100% of its Board of Directors commit to the pledge.

In the past year we’ve doubled down on our efforts to address inequities. Within ACLI we conducted unconscious bias training for all of our staff. We also established the Forum for Fearless Conversations, where we hold monthly discussions on racial and systemic inequity topics that help advance our thinking.

Working with our member companies we launched our Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative, which includes concrete steps to develop greater economic empowerment of financially underserved communities throughout the United States. The EERE Initiative is underpinned by the following four core principles, listed with examples of our actions: 

  • Expanding Access to Affordable Financial Security in Underserved Communities
    • ACLI partnered with six other insurance industry associations to launch the Help Protect Our Families initiative, which is raising awareness among financial professionals about coverage gaps with underserved communities.
  • Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Within Companies and on Corporate Boards
  • Achieving Economic Empowerment Through Financial Education
    • Through Protecting Every Future, we partnered with NAIFA and Life Happens for the Financial Security Alliance, which combines consumer education resources and delivers financial wellness resources across America.
  • Expanding Investments in Underserved Communities
    • ACLI expressed our support to the Biden Administration and leaders in Congress for direct payment bonds and low income housing tax credits in forthcoming infrastructure legislation.

The life insurance industry’s dedication to implementing this initiative is unwavering. And it needs to be. Because change this big will not happen overnight.

We’re ready for the challenge. Through member company action including smart public-private partnerships, we will help more Americans from underserved communities access opportunities that will lead them to financial protection and security for their families.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 94 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.