Two Atlanta-based restaurateurs are teaming up to help Black men in the community by buying life insurance for those who are disadvantaged.
Pinky Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan ATL and Derrick Hayes of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks are also including financial guidance, therapy services, and yoga classes in their outreach.
“Statistically, we really see the need when it comes to Black men being protected in our communities, and it is my vision and my goal to make sure that the Black man is protected,” Cole told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cole and Hayes are contributing to a growing trend among Black people across the nation when it comes to buying life insurance. According to a report by NBC News, the number of Black Americans purchasing life insurance policies has risen greatly, in part due to the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study conducted by LIMRA, a research organization for insurance and financial companies, surveyed 3,000 people and found that 56% of Black Americans have now purchased life insurance policies in the last year, marking the highest rates than any other racial group in the study.
In the last year, Black people’s life expectancy has declined by nearly three years, twice that of the national average, due to higher rates of death from COVID-19, a surge in overdoses, and car accidents.
The reality of mortality has been put at the “forefront of people’s minds,” Alison Salka, LIMRA director told NBC. “So generally, we found that because of the pandemic, almost a third of customers said they were more likely to buy life insurance because of it, but that number goes up for different demographic groups, like Black Americans,” Salka added.
The work of Cole and Hayes in Atlanta is working to prepare community members for that reality of mortality and combat health disparities among Black people, particularly Black men. The restaurant owners have already gotten several hundred people to sign up at walkup registrations. The AJC reported that more in-person registrations are scheduled but that men can register online on The Liife Experience here.
Employees at Cole and Hayes restaurants, both men and women, can sign up for policies through the program, too.
“There is no fine print to this. We don’t own the policies. They get to choose their own beneficiaries,” Cole told the newspaper.
The long-time friends and business owners came together in June 2020 after the fatal police shooting of Rayshard Brooks. The duo offered life insurance policies for Brooks’ family, a new car, and scholarships to Clark Atlanta University for the 27-year-old’s children.
To learn more about life insurance policies, click here.
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