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JP Morgan Chase has leveraged its financial power and expertise to support disadvantaged communities through its diversity programs such as Advancing Black Pathways (ABP). Based on the comment of an executive from another company, he perceives the ABP initiative as a “very practical solution” that need to be expanded worldwide due to its potential to succeed. Wells Fargo,Bank of America, and Citi are some of the other finance companies that have launched similar diversity initiatives to help address the widening wealth opportunity gap among Black communities. With regard to the best practices applied by non-finance companies when communicating their diversity programs, Alphabet promoted its diversity programs and plans on its public website that is accessible by the public and its employees. The rest of the requested findings were outlined in the section below.

JPMorgan’s Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) Initiative

  • On top of the early findings presented in the initial research, the following section contains the additional details on JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways and overall diversity approach.
  • According to Chase’s CEO, long-term business prosperity relies on the achievements of the community. Company leaders should then turn away from short-term strategies that typically move the market. If all the members of the community have an equal chance of contributing and reaping in the rewards of prosperity, the economy will thrive and the communities will be more collaborative.
  • Given this, Chase has leveraged its financial power and expertise to support these disadvantaged communities.
  • The company has been continuously putting in large and long-term investments in those areas where it has the capabilities and insights to deliver concrete impact.
  • Chase is also evaluating and nurturing new strategies such as lengthening the terms of low-cost loans to businesses or communities that are having a hard time securing financing without outside help.
  • If some of those approaches will not produce the desired outcome, Chase will gather the learning, adjust the approach, and re-deploy again. The image below show this approach: JPMorgan Chase' Strategic Drivers of Inclusive Growth
  • As part of its economic exclusivity advocacy, the company came up with the Advancing Black Pathways initiative.
  • The initiative started in 2019 to address the unfair opportunity chasm that Black Americans experience.
  • This program includes several endeavors of the company to support Black people’s journey to economic prosperity.
  • Under the program, the company will help in the areas of Black people’s “education, career, business, and personal finance.”
  • In 2019, JPMorgan Chase’s executives announced that they will be further deploying new programs for the rest of the year. The bank will integrate its business and charity resources to rapidly grow the financial opportunities that are available for Black Americans by enhancing education and job training, building up careers, and growing wealth.
  • JPMorgan Chase pledged to partner with historically Black higher education institutions to provide financial help to its students.
  • The bank also promised to enhance the financial status of Black families by collaborating with strategic partners to help these families save more, enhance their credit standing, avail of homebuying advice, and gain access to funding.
  • The program leverages JPMorgan Chase’s “business and philanthropic resources” to concentrate on three identified pathways that can propel the economic success of the black community, as well as create more opportunities for them.
  • When it comes to wealth, the program can assist the Black community in their pursuit of wealth-building endeavors such as owning a house, putting in more savings and investments, and pursuing business-building actions.
  • Building on its unique knowledge in enabling families enrich their assets, ABP is deploying an initiative that is focused on helping Black families improve their financial health, increase access to funding for small firms that are owned by Black entrepreneurs, and help them to own homes.
  • Chase’s CEO also said that the company is deliberately focusing on Blacks compared to other minority groups to avoid diluting its diversity efforts.
  • Furthermore, this multifaceted focus on the welfare of Blacks allows the company to specifically determine the progress being made within this community.
  • This is the reason why the bank’s diversity programs all have “Advancing” at the start of their names.
  • The “pathways” in the program’s name signifies that it will take more than one path to advance.
  • The bank acknowledges that there’s no single solution that will be effective in improving the economic status of Black Americans.
  • To be effective in advancing the welfare of Blacks, the community, and the business all need to link all their solutions.
  • This connected solutions approach is what Chase keeps in mind when it launched various initiatives such as Advancing Black Leaders, the Fellowship Initiative, Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, and others.
  • JPMorgan Chase has also formed an External Advisory Council to provide specialized knowledge and inform ABP’s strategy to promote “inclusive growth in communities.”
  • As for the ABP program, Chase has also been undertaking several actions to expand the available educational opportunities for Black students. The company will also help them in improving their job readiness.
  • ABP is also deploying its Advancing Black Entrepreneurs online course to enable Black business owners to keep their companies afloat in the current volatile economic environment and succeed further in the coming years.
  • The sessions are free and conducted by professionals from the the bank’s collaborators. These partners have been serving the Black community for over 50 years.
  • JPMorgan Chase collaborated with the Black Enterprise, National Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Urban League, and the US Black Chambers, Inc. to develop this online course.
  • The ABP initiative will also help in increasing the reach of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. It will offer help in paying the down payment for house loans, provide housing advice and homeownership financing, and expanded the availability of financial tools.
  • The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund is another program under JPMorgan Chase’s Small Business Forward Initiative. The fund aims to grant the needed financing to help around 300 U.S. businesses that are owned by Black or Latinx entrepreneurs.

JPMorgan Chase’s Other Initiatives

  • The Small Business Forward Initiative is a $150 million endeavor that enables these minority groups to obtain the funding and technical help that are necessary for their continuous growth.
  • Based on a research, there is an unprecedented surge of startups that are owned by Black or Latinx entrepreneurs. However, these businesses tend to be financed by personal or family money instead of external funding. This is then seen as a constraint that is preventing these businesses from expanding.
  • The fund has helped over 300 minority-owned companies. These businesses have been granted a total of over $14 million in funding from the Entrepreneur of Colors Fund.
  • Originally deployed in Detroit, the fund has since been launched in Chicago, San Francisco, South Bronx, and the Greater Washington area.
  • As a result of this expansion, the $17 million invested by the bank on this initiative has helped pull in an additional $35 million in external funding and has generated or kept over 1,900 jobs.
  • For this expansion, the bank’s additional local collaborators include the Detroit Development Fund, Chicago’s Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Accion Chicago, San Francisco’s Working Solutions, South Bronx’s Accion East and Excelsior Growth Fund, Greater Washington’s Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), Capital Impact Partners, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, and the “Minority and Women Entrepreneurs: Building Capital, Networks, and Skills.”
  • Under CEO James Dimon, the bank has also launched the AdvancingCities initiative to leverage public-private partnerships for the purpose of developing urban centers such as Detroit.
  • The bank also committed $3.65 million to the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to enable Black entrepreneurs gain more access to business capital. Aside from Chase, the Capital Impact Partners and the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation also donated $2 million and $1 million to the fund respectively. EOC funds were already established in Detroit, Chicago, San Francisco, and the South Bronx.
  • The ABP program is also hosting a career development event for the students at Howard University. The speakers in the event include Carolina Panthers quarterback and entrepreneur-philanthropist Cam Newton, NBA superstar LeBron James’ business partner Maverick Carter, and other well-known personalities.
  • The company also held another ABP roadshow event in the Newseum. The gathering features conversations among former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments, and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. The topics revolve around “wealth building in black communities.”
  • With regard to Chase’s The Fellowship Initiative (TFI), this endeavor provides “intensive academic and leadership training” to help target students graduate from high school and improve their higher education readiness.
  • TFI mainly targets young men of color who were from disadvantaged groups.
  • So far, 140 students from Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York have finished the program.
  • The program also saw 100% of the participants graduate from high school. These students were all accepted into higher education schools.
  • Around $30 million worth of scholarships were also granted.

JPMorgan Chase’s ABP Public Reactions

  • Chase’s Head of Advancing Black Pathways has written an article about the company’s stand on the current racial issues that are happening in the U.S.
  • In the article, the executive mentioned the bank’s Advancing Black Pathway initiative to address the success obstacles encountered by Blacks. The initiative also aims to mobilize “community leaders, influencers, organizations, and policymakers.” It also aims to redirect the passion that fuels the uprisings toward the path that will result in a long-term and meaningful transformation.
  • The initiative got mostly positive reactions from the public.
  • In one comment, a CEO of a foundation mentioned that the ABP initiative is a “very practical solution” that need to be expanded worldwide due to its potential to succeed.
  • Meanwhile, a fellow employee at JPMorgan Chase commented that ABP is a great step to ensure that conversation on racism will not stop. The employee also said that ABP can help ensure that action steps to address the issue will also continue.
  • Several executives and employees from other companies also expressed their optimism that ABP is a great initiative that can help address the racism issue. They also expressed their confidence that ABP can help in implementing the right action steps to help Blacks succeed in crucial areas.
  • Meanwhile, the company’s The Fellowship Initiative received positive engagements on one of its LinkedIn posts.
  • Several employees from other companies commented that it is a great initiative. They also mentioned that good education can greatly help the Black community to succeed.
  • The bank posted about ABP and its other diversity programs on its social media pages such as on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Bank of America’s Diversity Program

Wells Fargo’s Diversity Program

  • The “Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program” initially plans to allocate $75 million in funding to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that help diverse small firms.
  • The $75 million funding was distributed in 2018. The bank then added $100 million more in funds to further increase the program’s reach.
  • DCC funds are meant to be used by CDFIs to provide loans to diverse entrepreneurs who own small companies. The money is also earmarked for programs that increase the ways to obtain business funding and resources such as “technical assistance, marketing, and outreach.”
  • The funds will also be used to provide any mentoring or education resources that are needed by diverse small company owners.
  • Wells Fargo’s program also has a social capital element that is centered on action plans to establish useful support groups and social infrastructure for all CDFIs to enable them to increase the available funds that diverse small companies can borrow.
  • The bank is partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network to make certain parts of the initiative a reality.
  • Currently, the bank helps around 150 CDFIs around the U.S.
  • The bank offers customized investment and debt approach to support CDFI’s efforts.

Citi’s Diversity Program

  • $550 million to support home ownership for people of color and affordable housing by minority developers”
  • $350 million in procurement opportunities for Black-owned business suppliers”
  • “$50 million in additional impact investing capital for Black entrepreneurs”
  • $100 million to support Minority Depository Institutions’ growth and revenue generation”
  • $100 million in Citi Foundation grants to support community change agents addressing racial equity.”

Diversity Initiatives Outside the Finance Industry and their Program Communication Best Practices

Amazon’s Diversity Program

  • Amazon vowed to support the Black Lives Matter movement that stemmed from the killing of George Floyd when a police officer knelt on his neck.
  • To show its support, Amazon placed a banner on top of its website with the words, “Black lives matter. Amazon stands in solidarity with the Black community.”
  • Amazon is set to donate $10 million to various groups that are advocating for justice and equity. Amazon tapped its Black Employee Network to help select these organizations.
  • The following groups were chosen as the beneficiaries: the ACLU Foundation, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Equal Justice Initiative, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, NAACP, the National Bar Association, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Urban League, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the UNCF (United Negro College Fund), and Year Up.

Alphabet’s Diversity Program

  • On its company blog and website, Alphabet’s CEO Sundar Pichai released a message that reiterated the company’s commitments toward racial equity amidst the violent racist actions against the black community. Based on his conversations with the black leaders and employees of Google,
  • Mr. Pichai mentioned that their testimonies proved that the black communities are still grappling with the problem of widespread racism being present in their everyday lives such as in their encounters with police officers.
  • Racism also rears its ugly head when they are trying to access housing and financial help, as well as benefits in healthcare, education, and labor. The company then pledged to implement concrete action steps that can make the most impact in the company’s quest for diversity and inclusion.
  • One of these commitments is its work on increasing minority representation at senior job positions by 30% in 2025. Other initiatives involve anti-racism training, mental health support, increased dialogues with minority communities, and recruitment diversity measures.
  • Google announced that the company is setting aside over $175 million in livelihood opportunity package to help black business owners, startup entrepreneurs, job candidates, and developers.
  • The company also mentioned that its YouTube brand has already allocated $100 million in funding to aid in the success of black creators and artists.
  • The economic opportunity package also consists of $50 million in funding that is meant to support black-owned businesses in collaboration with the Opportunity Finance Network. The package also includes $100 million in financing share in black-led companies.

Marriott’s Diversity Program

  • J.W. Marriott, the Executive Chairman & Chairman of the Board released a statement where it supported the Black Lives Matter movement in the light of the violent and senseless deaths of various black individuals.
  • On its website, the company then highlighted its response to diversity and inclusion by stating that it has over 1,400 hotels that are owned by minorities.
  • Mr. Marriott also mentioned that the company will continue to work on improving the diversity and inclusion awareness and actions in the company. It will also expand its diversity programs to ensure a more diverse organization. The company will also work on engaging in diversity-themed dialogues with its organization and its partners in the black communities.
  • Marriott will also be offering a way for Marriott Bonvoy members to donate their loyalty rewards to those groups who are advocating for racial equality and social justice. The company will then match these points with the corresponding monetary value that can be donated to these organizations.
  • On Facebook, Marriott also announced various diversity initiatives that will benefit Black communities.
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