Audible today announced the creation of the Global Center for Urban Development, which will expand the company’s community and economic initiatives while launching new and measurable models focused on advancing equality, racial justice and economic empowerment. While based in and focused on our corporate hometown of Newark, N.J. the Center’s mission will encompass Audible locations in cities around the world and include programs and policy initiatives that can be adopted in cities globally.
Audible relocated to Newark in 2007 to pursue one of its core corporate principles: We work to improve the lives of those in the cities and countries in which we operate, because Audible seeks to exemplify what a company can mean beyond what it does. We believe in giving people a chance, and we work to make this so, particularly in the urban core. Our focus on education innovation and urban economic and social renaissance is about advancing equality, and this mission should inform and inspire our days.
In pursuit of this defining principle, the company launched the social impact early-stage investment fund Newark Venture Partners; introduced the “Live Local” program that incentivizes Audible employees to live in Newark with after-tax subsidies; created the Audible Interns and Scholars programs alongside the "Hire Local" program focused on creative Newark resident employee development; and offered corporate support for local small restaurant businesses, which during the crises of 2020 has become Newark Working Kitchens. In just 23 weeks since launch, Newark Working Kitchens has reopened 25 local restaurants and delivered more than 440,000 meals to underserved Newarkers.
The new Global Center for Urban Development will report into Audible Founder and Executive Chairman, Don Katz. “At a time of unprecedented crisis, Newark’s historic comeback is dependent on continued support from companies, philanthropies and governments working together. We believe all members of society -- with strong companies like Audible and other scaled corporations leading the way – must commit to meaningful support for innovation and investment, focused on civic and social change that addresses the underlying causes of structural inequality,” said Katz.
Audible also announced Aisha Glover will join the company as Vice President of Urban Innovation, reporting to SVP, Global Center for Urban Development, Abhinav Mathur. In her role, Glover will help establish the strategic direction of the Global Center for Urban Development and will lead a team dedicated to advancing equitable economic development solutions in cities worldwide. Glover joins Audible from the Newark Alliance, where she served as President & CEO.
“I commend Audible for embracing its role in Newark, advancing its economic and social impact and investing in and launching initiatives that are aligned with my vision for an inclusive and equitable city,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka. “Aisha is the perfect leader to continue this work from within Audible on behalf of the City’s residents and small businesses. We need all corporations to take an active role in helping to accelerate our recovery.”
The Global Center for Urban Development will bring together all equitable community aspirations at Audible under a single organization, from existing community projects in Newark to new efforts around urban innovation, to work to improve the lives of those in the cities and countries in which Audible operates.