On Friday, August 16, Colonial held our third annual Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) celebration. This year's theme, "One Colonial. One Community." was chosen because of Colonial's ongoing efforts to support our local communities through volunteer work, donations and other means of support.

Colonial's annual D&I Celebration is an event that recognizes the importance of diversity, not just visual diversity, like gender or ethnicity, but also diversity of ideas, perspective, passions and beliefs. We also recognize the importance of having an inclusive culture built on respect and trust that encourages everyone to embrace the unique talents they have to offer.

Colonial celebrates Women's History Month by wearing purple

Boys and Girls Club of Tarrant County​​, the Center for Transforming Lives, Fort Worth ISD, Housing Opportunities of Fort Worth, Junior Achievement of the Chisholm Trail, Ladder Alliance, Love Acts, Optimist Club of Fort Worth, Ronald McDonald House Fort Worth, Safe Haven, Samaritan House, United Way of Tarrant County and the Women's Center of Tarrant County.

In addition to inviting our community partners to this year's celebration was special guest speaker Kam Phillips of Dream Delivered. Phillips gave two inspiring presentations that were also live-streamed to employees who were unable to attend in person. She spoke about her work with Dream Delivered and making an impact in the community.

After last year's successful school supply drive that saw hundreds of donations to support two Fort Worth-area schools, Colonial wanted to hold a donation drive to support another local organization: The Women's Shelter of Tarrant County.

Colonial celebrates Women's History Month by wearing purple

Dozens of items were donated to help support the organization whose mission is: "to inspire and empower women, men and children to overcome violence, crisis and poverty."

For the third consecutive year Colonial had food trucks on-site for lunch and employees enjoyed fun-filled music and a photo booth to celebrate the occasion. Employees also received a "One Colonial. One Community." tumbler.

Off-site branches held custom celebrations at their various locations and tuned in to watch the live stream of the guest speaker. CU Members Mortgage, a division of Colonial, enjoyed a fun-filled celebration that included games, yummy food and collected donations for Hope's Door New Beginning Center, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to building lives without violence in the Plano, Texas community.

Colonial's D&I Celebration will reach far beyond the event in August. For the first time Colonial is holding a month-long "One Colonial, One Community Team Volunteer Challenge."

Colonial celebrates Women's History Month by wearing purple

For the entire month of October, employees are encouraged to volunteer with their favorite local organizations and keep a record of the amount of time they have volunteered. At the end of the month, the winning team will be the branch or department that volunteers the most hours based on average time per employee.

The winning team will receive the "Jimmy Trophy," named after Colonial's beloved founder, Jimmy DuBose.

We would like to thank all of our community partners, employees and D&I Ambassadors for making this event a success. We look forward to providing more updates from our inaugural "One Colonial, One Community Team Volunteer Challenge" as we continue to give back to our wonderful communities.