Pepsi Stronger Together community initiatives to know about

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that it can be impossible to keep a community healthy and strong when people are not working alongside each other to make it happen.

That’s why we’re taking a big step to invest locally in Southern communities we serve in order to foster connection and belonging among community members. We officially launched our new grassroots community outreach initiative, Pepsi Stronger Together, in Orlando on Oct. 22 after a May soft launch.

We’re also rolling out regional programming this year in Orlando, Memphis, Miami and Washington, D.C., in conjunction with these cities’ NBA teams and charitable organizations. The various programs aim to provide much-needed resources and programs to strengthen each community from within.

“Stronger Together is just the beginning of what will become an even bigger and more dynamic program for our employees, our partners and our communities – allowing us to lead by example and put our words into action,” said Derek Lewis, President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America.

Under Pepsi Stronger Together, here are some initiatives we’re spearheading this year, among others, in our areas of community outreach:

Providing resources and training for Harbor House in Orlando

We’re excited to partner with the Orlando Magic and The CTG Foundation to provide updated sports and recreational equipment, including installation of new outdoor basketball courts and recreation area for teens to the Harbor House of Central Florida – an organization that provides a safe haven and services for survivors of domestic violence and their children. We'll also be facilitating a 5-week self-defense course with the organization's counselors.

Offering Crucial Conversations and court refurbishments in D.C.

The ability to talk through issues is an important skill, especially for our youth. We’re partnering with the Washington Wizards to lead a series of Crucial Conversations with local students, influencers, alumna, the CTG Foundation and the D.C. Metro Police Department. Our conversations will discuss topics about voting, racial injustice, education opportunities after high school and mentorship. We’ll also be working with the Wizards to refurbish basketball facilities in the Navy Yard district for local youths to enjoy.

Giving mentorship and HBCU support in Memphis

It’s been reported that students who receive mentorship are 52% less likely to miss school days than students without mentors. We’re working to expand mentorship opportunities for college students in Memphis by partnering with the Memphis Grizzlies to launch an eight-week internship and mentorship program. Those students, in turn, will have an opportunity to mentor area high school students and tour an HBCU. In addition, the CTG Foundation will help provide a sports-centered mentorship program to connect students and local law enforcement while boosting self-esteem and leadership skills.

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“Stronger Together is just the beginning of what will become an even bigger and more dynamic program for our employees, our partners and our communities"

President, South Division, PepsiCo Beverages North America Derek Lewis

Supporting the community in Miami

We’re proud to support the Miami Heat police training programs. That’s why we’re donating $10,000 to support new police training programs for interacting with local communities. Additionally, The Miami HEAT and Pepsi are teaming up to auction off a one-of-a-kind prize package, generating funds to partner with minority-run local restaurants and providing meals to struggling families across Miami for the upcoming holidays.

These steps are just some of the first we’re taking alongside our local community members through Pepsi Stronger Together.

“This program might be one of the most substantial and important steps in helping our local communities to become stronger together,” said Shaquille O’Neal, CEO, Shaquille O'Neal Foundation, in a press release. “There has never been a more important time to look inward and focus on these grassroots initiatives.