Launched in June 2021, Square 1 aims to provide life insurance to 25,000 black men by 2023

January 24, 2022

The Pinky Cole Foundation and The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation announce that The Prudential Insurance Company of America will be the life insurance carrier for Square 1: The Liife Experience, a joint initiative from the two foundations. The announcement is part of Square 1’s broader effort to offer a suite of mental, physical and financial wellness support to the Black community.

The Pinky Cole and The David & Derrick Hayes Foundations officially launched the Square 1 initiative in June 2021, announcing that it will provide life insurance to 25,000 Black men by December 2023, as part of its work to portray Black men in a positive light while redefining the role of Black men in today’s divisive climate. Plans call for nationwide awareness centered around financial education in conjunction with mental health and wellness. According to a 2016 study from the National Institutes of Health, Black men have the lowest life expectancy and highest death rate from specific causes compared to both men and women of other racial and ethnic groups. Square 1: The Liife Experience Campaign represents a long-term model that actively introduces the importance of having life insurance and routine mental health and wellness screenings with supporting partners Kaleidoscope Therapy for Black Families Fund and Seviin Yoga.

“Pinky and Derrick have a profound understanding of the need to elevate financial wellness in the Black community, and life insurance is foundational to fulfilling that need,” said Salene Hitchcock-Gear, president, Prudential Individual Life Insurance. “We believe that the combination of their effort with our holistic financial wellness education program will build confidence and create a pathway to increased economic mobility for these individuals that will have a ripple effect through their communities.”

Prudential’s support of Square 1 builds on the company’s history of addressing the unique challenges facing Black men and boys. Funding education and training programs that help boys and young men of color build the skills they need to obtain quality jobs complements the Newark-based company’s efforts to create more equitable routes to financial security. Through Prudential’s financial wellness education program, Square 1 participants will have access to a digital financial wellness portal, as well as various financial wellness tools and webinars ranging across a variety of topics from budgeting, debt and credit management, to life insurance, investing and retirement planning."

“This cause is close to my heart; I have been through so much in my life and have seen people around me lose loved ones without life insurance, and because of this, we’ve had to hold fish fries, fundraisers, and barbecues to pay for the funeral.” says Cole. “I’m so thankful that Prudential has joined our efforts to utilize our platforms and build up the Black community. I can’t wait to see this initiative grow so we can help as many people as possible.” 

“While growing up in West Philly, I witnessed people putting together fish fries and creating GoFundMe pages for their loved one’s funerals,” says Hayes. “I am excited to partner with Prudential on this initiative not only to offer Black men the needed insurance resources in the unfortunate case of death, but also access to financial tools and education that is important to help empower Black communities and families.”

To learn more about the Square 1 Initiative, including how to get involved, visit the Square 1 page. For photos and more information on Square 1: The Liife Experience, access the online media kit.

About The Pinky Cole Foundation: 

Founded in 2019, the Foundation has an overarching mission to lead entrepreneurship and financial literacy-focused education initiatives. Specifically targeting teens and young adults (13 – 22 years of age) in the U.S. by applying an intentional equity lens in its program design, the Foundation prioritizes grassroots and hyperlocal approaches to empower young people of color, a segment of our society which too often faces disproportionate challenges and obstacles to success. As a core value, this organization believes that Black economic progress is achieved by creatively leveraging economic opportunities, successful risk-taking, and innovation. For more information on The Pinky Cole Foundation, please visit this page.

About The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation: 

The David & Derrick Hayes Foundation, Inc. empowers and educates Black Men of all ages in minority communities through mentorship and financial literacy. The Black Man has given the most and received the least in society. Derrick’s Foundation in honor of his father, David Hayes, is a program pioneered by young Black men who overcame the same obstacles our brothers, “The Black Man,” face every day. The Foundation’s goal is to give futures to The Black Man through the support of stem cell treatment for lung cancer, continuous engagement in street hustle reform, and building generational wealth and dignified lineage. 

About Prudential

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a global financial services leader and premier active global investment manager with more than $1.5 trillion in assets under management as of September 30, 2021, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

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Group Insurance coverage is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a Prudential Financial company, Newark, NJ.


Media Contact(s)

Harold Banks