New York Life Foundation adds Social Justice pillar.

New York Life | August 3, 2022

Becomes the Foundation’s third focus area in addition to childhood bereavement and educational enhancement.

NEW YORK — The New York Life Foundation, the charitable arm of America’s largest mutual life insurer1, today announced the addition of social justice as a third focus area, joining the longstanding pillars of childhood bereavement and educational enhancement for middle school students. Inspired by a long tradition of service and humanity, the Foundation has always supported underserved and diverse communities. The formalization of this third pillar acknowledges an established mandate to address societal issues in communities across the country where New York Life policy owners, agents, and employees live and work.

“Our social justice pillar gives us a platform to dedicate more resources and support and continue to invest in the programs needed for young people from marginalized communities and communities of color to create an equal and just society for generations to come,” said Heather Nesle, president, New York Life Foundation. “Since our inception, The Foundation has put the power of our people, financial investments, and other resources behind organizations and initiatives that address economic and societal inequalities.”

Recent social justice commitments include:

  • The New York Life Foundation’s commitment of $1 million each to Hampton and Howard Universities to support scholarships, internships, and bereavement resources for students affected by the loss of a loved one. 
  • Understanding the unique role that afterschool and summer learning programs can play in addressing equity, a portion of the Foundation’s annual Aim High local education grant program was permanently dedicated to supporting out-of-school-time (OST) programs and their efforts around advancing racial equity and social justice.
  • Dedicated resources to support young people of color who experience the death of a loved one are in short supply. As a thought leader and investor in the childhood bereavement space, the Foundation invested $140,000 with The Steve Fund to increase access and equity for young people of color as well as develop multicultural resources in partnership with diverse experts in this space.
  • To help address inequities on a systemic level, the Foundation awards general operating grants to the following organizations to support positive change for women, communities of color, individuals with disabilities, and individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.


Read more about the New York Life Foundation’s social justice efforts here and New York Life initiatives related to DE&I and social justice, including the company’s $1 billion impact investment initiative to help address the racial wealth gap, here. You can also find out more in New York Life’s latest Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report.


About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided over $390 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement, childhood bereavement and social justice. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative. To learn more, please visit

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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937

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