This month marks the one-year anniversary since the nation’s largest bank launched ABP, a drive to help African Americans achieve sustained economic success. The action builds on the bank’s existing efforts to help communities of color by focusing on three key areas where blacks have historically lagged behind other ethnic groups: wealth creation, educational outcomes, and career success.
“We’re committed to bringing the full force of our firm to provide improved access to education, job training and wealth creation for the black community,” stated Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “We believe we’ve laid a strong foundation for Advancing Black Pathways to achieve lasting, meaningful impact, but recognize that we have a long way to go towards accomplishing that goal.”
The bank’s push is aimed at helping to address the racial wealth divide between black and white Americans
If current trends persist, the median wealth of black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053, reports the economic advocacy group Prosperity Now. Plus, despite accounting for nearly 13% of the U.S. population, black people occupy less than 8% of the nation’s white-collar jobs. The educational achievement gap is significant as well. Only 46% of black college students complete four-year degree programs within six years, compared to 69% of white students and 77% of Asian American students.
“JPMorgan Chase launched Advancing Black Pathways last year out of a belief that making the economy work for more people is both a business imperative and a moral obligation, stated Sekou Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways.
Thasunda Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking and executive sponsor of ABP, added, “We’re proud of the progress we’ve made through Advancing Black Pathways to hire more black talent, invest in black-owned businesses and help black Americans of all wealth levels achieve their long-term financial goals. We look forward to building on these efforts for years to come.”
Here’s a glimpse at some new initiatives the bank is backing to boost black economic opportunity.
- Student Financial Hardship Fund: Through ABP, JPMorgan Chase is committing $1 million each year to help students attending HBCUs cover the cost of personal finance emergencies. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will evenly administer the funds to students who attend publicly supported HBCUs within their respective networks of 84 member schools.
Helping Nonprofit Organizations Advance Racial Equality in Local Communities
- Prosperity Now: JPMorgan Chase announced a $3 million commitment over two years to help nonprofit leaders of color in Minneapolis and Seattle address racial economic inequality. The new investment expands a partnership with the bank through its corporate philanthropy program. First launched in 2015, JPMorgan Chase has invested more than $8.8 million in Prosperity Now’s Racial Wealth Divide Initiative. The initiative was previously launched in Dallas, Wilmington, New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore, and Chicago.
- Inclusiv: The firm is making a $1 million commitment over the next year to Inclusiv to help people in low- and moderate-income communities in Detroit and Cleveland, improve their financial health.
- Advancing Black Entrepreneurship: JPMorgan Chase also announced the formation of “Pathways to Capital by Chase for Business,” to improve access to capital and business advisory services for black small business owners. Pathways to Capital will prepare black entrepreneurs for the loan application process and provide improved access to Chase’s Business Banking advisory services. Pathways to Capital is still under development and will launch later in 2020.
To create the program, ABP and Chase’s Business Bank formed a coalition with four partners: the National Minority Supplier Development Council, National Urban League, U.S. Black Chambers, and Black Enterprise.
McKinsey & Co. and E. Smith Advisors will assist the effort as consultants.
“In addition to homeownership, entrepreneurship holds an important key towards closing the racial wealth divide,” says Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways. “Black entrepreneurs are job creators, and possess a net worth that’s 12 times higher than black non-entrepreneurs, so we must do our part to promote and advance small business ownership.”
In its news release, JPMorgan Chase also reflects on several highlights the bank achieved through ABP to help black Americans in 2019 in other key areas such as wealth creation as well as education and careers.
Along with ABP, JPMorgan Chase has multiple programs designed to help people of color achieve economic and career success. Those programs include the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, The Fellowship Initiative and Advancing Black Leaders (ABL).