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Coca-Cola Florida celebrates Black History Month

The initiative focuses on education, digital literacy and economic empowerment.

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Coca-Cola Florida, the family-owned bottler of the popular soft drink company, recently partnered with various community organizations, Florida Black Expo and the Jim Thorpe Invitational Golf Tournament (JTI), to commit more than $150,000 through donations of laptops, lab upgrades computer, and integrated technology training for hundreds of students in the Sunshine State.

Focusing on education, digital literacy and economic empowerment during Black History Month in 2023, Coca-Cola will give more than $650,000.

Percy L. Wells II, Coke Florida’s Group vice president of Government Relations, Public Affairs, and Communication, stated:

Coke Florida is committed to the communities where we live, work and play. During Black History month, our commitment is exemplified through our ongoing work to provide educational opportunities, address the digital divide, and advance the potential for economic empowerment.

A technological approach

Regarding education and digital literacy, Coke Florida will offer:

  • AI hands-on training sessions, including chatbots, at four Boys and Girls Clubs across the state in Hollywood, Orlando, St. Augustine, and Tampa.
  • Capgemini, a Coke Florida technology services partner, will join the company in offering this training.
  • The company will make additional technology donations to deserving students in the 18 local territories it serves, representing a total commitment of 300 laptops.

“It’s not just enough for Coke Florida to continue to provide technology access as we have done for several years. We have to step up and play a role in developing the skills and capabilities students need to help close the digital divide which disproportionately impacts traditionally underserved communities. We’re excited to be able to introduce students to Intelligent Automation,” said Terrence Gee, senior vice president of Technology and Enterprise Transformation at Coke Florida.

The economic approach

As a sponsor of the Florida Black Expo in Jacksonville, Coke Florida will support the three-day event to bring cultural awareness to minority-owned businesses and inspire economic development in diverse Black communities.

The company will also use the event to recruit career opportunities in manufacturing, sales, distribution, warehousing, and professional services.

A “hole in one” for diversity

This will also be the second year that Coke Florida has partnered with the United Golfers Association (UGA) as a title sponsor of the Jim Thorpe Invitational (JTI) Golf Tournament at the Omni Orlando Resort in ChampionsGate.

UGA, established in 1925, is one of the leading organizations created specifically to increase diversity in golf. Thorpe and several other Black golfers began their careers as members of the association that organized a series of professional golf tournaments for the Black community during Jim Crow in the United States.

JTI will take place Feb. 17-19, and will feature approximately 160 elite junior, collegiate and professional golfers. The tournament will also have a panel discussion focused on career opportunities in golf.

Get to know: Coca-Cola Florida

It is a family-owned Coca-Cola bottler with an exclusive sales and distribution territory that covers more than 21 million consumers in 47 Florida counties and includes the major metropolitan markets of Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa.

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