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United Way and Truist Partner With First National Youth Poet Laureate to Spread Message of Unity

At a time when America is confronting historic health, social and economic upheaval, a new television and social media advertising campaign by United Way and Truist Financial Corporation, one of the nation’s largest financial services companies, aims to spark hope and optimism for the future, and the importance of working United to build stronger communities.

The campaign features an original poem, “Live United,” penned by America’s inaugural National Youth Poet Laureate, 22-year-old Amanda Gorman, and inspired by United Way and all that can be achieved when we unite for our communities.

“Live United” gives voice to the on-going partnership and shared commitment between Truist and United Way to build better lives and communities. Ms. Gorman’s clarion call to “. . .dare to care, to be hope-sided” drives home a powerful and hopeful message about the opportunity ahead to build a better America, where every person is respected, every voice is heard and every community thrives. This shared commitment is underscored by the $7 million grant to the United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund as part of the financial services company’s Truist Cares initiative, a cooperative effort between Truist Financial Corporation, the Truist Foundation, and the Truist Charitable Fund to pledge $50 million of philanthropic support to provide communities, organizations and individuals disaster relief and assistance during the pandemic.

Produced by New York-based Strawberry Frog and directed by award-winning filmmaker Fredrik Bond, with MJZ, “Live United” shows a montage of different Americans—and, metaphorically, different Americas—defined by changing circumstances, occupations, communities and demographics, but all unified as they stop to listen Amanda’s poignant words emanating from various devices and are inspired by renewed optimism.

“Live United” launched nationally earlier this month and is airing in 13 markets across Truist’s corporate footprint (Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington DC, Tampa, Miami, Baltimore, Nashville, Dallas, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Norfolk, Raleigh, Richmond) through mid-August.

“At Truist, our purpose of inspiring and building better lives and communities has never been more urgent,” said Susan Somersille Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer, Truist. “We are proud to partner with United Way as we strengthen our communities. Together, our ad gives voice to America’s first youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman and her inspiring call to meet tomorrow with hope.”

“There has never been a greater need in America to come together to create positive, lasting change. We look forward to driving this change in partnership with Truist, to reimagining our communities and rebuilding a country that is equitable for all,” said Stan Little, Chief Experience Officer, United Way Worldwide. “We must all do our part, working United, to make our communities the places that we need them to be – equitable, respectful and opportunity-filled.”