Published: September 27, 2023
Published: September 27, 2023

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Malesia Dunn: A Lifelong Passion for Changing Lives

Personal passion combined with professional expertise empower Malesia Dunn to change lives as executive director of PPG Foundation and corporate global social responsibility. Under her leadership, efforts like our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® program and New Paint for a New Start initiative are uplifting and supporting communities around the world.

Rich Journey of Experiences

Growing up in a family of teachers, Malesia always understood the value and benefits of a good education.

“It can change the trajectory of not only a person’s life but also the lives of their family members. I experienced this firsthand, which is why this has always been a personal passion for me that grew into a professional one. I actually didn’t set out when I graduated from college to lead a foundation and handle corporate social responsibility. It was a journey to get to where I am today, with every experience leading to the next one.”

With a degree in journalism, Malesia began that journey working in front of and behind a camera and microphone as a television and radio producer, reporter and anchor. From there, she moved into various internal and external communication roles with companies that included McDonald’s Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline.


Educate, Sustain, Engage

Since joining us in 2018, Malesia has crafted a community engagement strategy that is bringing positive, measurable change to both the communities where we operate and to our business.

“We must create a sustainable community to have a sustainable business. It’s not just about selling paint and coatings. We need to uplift and support the communities where our employees, customers and other stakeholders live and work.”

That financial and volunteer support is primarily in three areas, with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion underpinning all the work:

  • Education: Encouraging students to discover the joy of experimentation through hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning, in addition to supporting work-readiness skills training programs. Our new grantmaking focus is on environmental sustainability education, which represents a natural extension of our STEM work.

  • Community sustainability: Revitalizing places in need of brightness and helping those facing unforeseen hardships.

  • Employee engagement: Offering employees opportunities to help build better communities.

A hallmark of our community engagement is the Colorful Communities program, which launched in 2015 with the goal of investing at least $10 million by 2025 in projects that protect and beautify special places in our employees’ lives. Through the work of employee and community volunteers, we’ve transformed schools, hospitals, iconic community buildings and more in 50 countries. We completed our 500th project in September 2023 and have exceeded the $10 million goal two years ahead of the target. We’re going to continue the Colorful Communities program with an additional commitment of $5 million by 2030.

Creating the Wow with New Paint

An offshoot of the Colorful Communities program is our New Paint for a New Start initiative, where our employee volunteers transform learning environments using our paint products and color expertise. The program launched in 2022 and continued in 2023, in part because our employees wanted to transform even more schools.

“As the world was coming out of the pandemic in 2022, we began looking for ways to support our communities moving forward. We realized that many children were going back to a classroom after a year or two of remote learning. This was going to be a big shift in their lives, and we wanted to smooth that transition by welcoming them back with bright, colorful and engaging spaces in which they could learn and grow.”

Prior to the pandemic, the company had completed a study on the impact of color in the classroom. That insight was the foundation for the initiative’s color palette, which our color experts designed specifically for various age groups and classroom spaces.

Visit our website and watch our recent videos on New Paint for a New Start 2023 wrap-up and 500 Colorful Communities projects milestone to learn more about how Malesia and our employees continue to support and wow communities around the world.


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