Legacy of service: Together we can be the dream

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We can be the dream. 

This week, Unum celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr with a week of service in the communities we serve. This goes hand-in-hand with Dr. King’s philosophy of a ‘beloved community’ that empowers individuals to strive for equality, equity, social justice and service.

As an organization, we honor Dr. King’s legacy throughout the year. Our inclusion and diversity strategic priorities ensure a representative workforce with diversity of thought, which enables us to better serve our customers, each other – and our community.  To honor Dr. King’s legacy during the week of observance, Unum employees will volunteer at organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, Girls Inc., and Chattanooga Food Bank. 

There are many ways you can join in, too. 
  • Give warm clothing to those in need.
  • Provide meals or volunteer at your local soup kitchen.
  • Send cards to residents in an assisted living home.
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter.
  • Enlist friends and family to clean up a local park or other community green space.
  • Donate to social justice-minded organizations; be sure to see if your company will match this donation like Unum does for all employees who donate to their favorite qualified nonprofit organizations.

You can also educate others -- and reeducate yourself -- on Dr. King’s writings and philosophy, which includes his I Have a Dream speech and his Letter from Birmingham Jail

We are proud to continue our support of Unum’s Social Justice grants where we recently surpassed $1 million in awards to our local communities. We will continue our work to develop stronger, more equitable communities through the organizations that work to end racism, discrimination and bias. 

When we work together to advocate for greater access to benefits that strengthen our societies and families, protect the environment around us, and invest in creating an equitable and inclusive workplace culture, we honor Dr. King’s legacy and move closer to the dream. 
About the author
Valoria Armstrong

Valoria V. Armstrong

Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer

Valoria Armstrong joined Unum in January 2023 as the chief global inclusion & diversity officer. In her role, she leads the company’s I&D strategy to ensure the organization fosters an equitable culture, inclusivity and a representative workplace.  

Prior to joining Unum, Armstrong served as the chief inclusion officer and vice president, external affairs, for American Water, the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. In this position, she strengthened the company’s inclusion, diversity and equity strategy.  

Armstrong has also served as president of Tennessee American Water, where she was responsible for operations, financial performances, safety and employee engagement, field customer service and environmental excellence.

Armstrong earned her master’s degree in human resource development from Villanova University and bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University.

Armstrong is an active member of her community. She was the first woman, and youngest president, elected to lead the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She is an alum of Leadership Tennessee, and currently serves as chair of the Hamilton County Partnership Advisory Board, and a board trustee of the Tennessee Aquarium and Benwood Foundation. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

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About Unum Group

Unum (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for more than 170 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2021, Unum reported revenues of $12.0 billion and paid $8.2 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2022 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®.


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