#StepUp2ThePlate Stories: Board Members

September 14, 2017 - StepUp2ThePlate

Mike’s Story: Giving Others A Second chance In The Workforce


“I am privileged to have an amazing job looking after HR for Unilever’s largest market while using our Sustainable Living Plan as a platform for change. At Unilever, we believe in our business model and in our commitment to give back to society. In partnership with the White House, we signed the Fair Chance Pledge – a commitment to giving citizens a second chance to return the workforce. We are also eliminating background checks as we know this gives people a fair chance to interview without being disqualified before they get through the door. We are now going further with the implementation of Values Led Hiring, where organizations and communities work together and to give potential employees a chance to get hired without having an interview. Having an opportunity to work for a business that has scale and a voice and believes in human potential is perfectly aligned with what gives me energy.”

– Mike Clementi. Vice President, Human Resources at Unilever. JRF Board Member. 


Dr. Christmas’ Story: Helping Patients Assimilate Back Into The Community 


“I started a program called the Harlem Rehabilitation Center way back in the 1960’s. It helped people who had been discharged from state psychiatric hospitals assimilate back into their communities. In the United States, there were no programs in black neighborhoods that were geared to rehabilitate chronic psychiatric patients who had been in hospitals for 5-25 years…none at all! I learned how to use group therapy and incorporate aspects of black culture— a strong sense of family, belief in religion, and the use of music—that we used to help them return to be in and of their communities. After our research was initially funded by the Federal Government, the program became permanent. It lasted for 35 years, helping thousands of patients and many community members staffed as paraprofessionals, while sparking an interest in NY and beyond for other social psychiatric rehabilitation programs.”

Dr. June Jackson Christmas. Founder of the Harlem Rehabilitation Center. JRF Board Member. 


Norman’s Story: Civil Rights Advocacy


“I have read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence each Fourth of July for the past 48 years. For approximately the last 10 years, I and others have publicly read them in New York- Central Park and Riverside Park. We read the Constitution and the Declaration and discuss what the founding documents are about in order to educate people and inform them about the wonderful principles of free speech, free press, freedom of religion, equal protection and due process under the law. Regarding cases I litigate, what I do, is try to win for the client, but I am also empowering people by imparting knowledge of the American constitutional system.”

Norman Siegel. Civil Rights Advocate. JRF Board Member.

Follow #StepUp2ThePlate stories on social media: 

Facebook: @JRF42 
Instagram: @JRFoundation 
Twitter: @JRFoundation 
LinkedIn: @Jackie Robinson Foundation