By Sheila Winston
Chase, Senior Business Consultant
Juneteenth is a day like no other. It is both a celebration of freedom and a reminder of the work that still must be done to bring about a more equitable society. So, as we recognize Juneteenth this year, now is the time to harness what unites us and help bring about changes that benefit all communities.
Taking actions focused on racial equity, along with diversity and inclusion, requires collaboration and building trust in the community. JPMorgan Chase is helping to drive sustainable changes through its five-year $30 billion racial equity commitment. With a business-led approach, this commitment aims to help address key drivers of the racial wealth divide in Black, Latino and Hispanic communities by investing in them directly.
Since its launch in October 2020, we have deployed or committed more than $18 billion toward our $30 billion goal. To sustain this progress, we must measure this effort and listen to feedback so we can have even greater impact in closing the wealth gap.
Here is just some of the progress we’ve made toward our commitment while working alongside our community partners across the country thus far:
• Helped homeowners save money on their monthly mortgage payments by refinancing 19,000 of our 20,000 incremental loans goal
• Approved funding for approximately $13 billion in loans to help create and preserve more than 100,000 affordable housing and rental units across the U.S.
• Expanded our homebuyer grant program to $5,000 to help with down payment and closing costs
• Helped customers open over 200,000 low-cost checking accounts with no overdraft fees
• Spent an additional $155 million with 140 Black, Hispanic and Latino suppliers
• Invested more than $100 million of equity in 15 diverse financial institutions that serve more than 89 communities in 19 states and the District of Columbia
• Mentored more than 1,000 Black, Hispanic and Latino small businesses
Creating Community Impact
At the heart of our business is the local community bank branch. But a local bank branch, especially in underserved neighborhoods, can be successful only when it fits the community’s needs. That’s why, over the last several years, we have shifted our approach from community banking to “community building” – a boots on the ground approach to better serve the needs of our local communities.
Our Community Center branches are the most tangible symbols of our commitment to community building, as they were created to be a unique space in the heart of urban communities that hosts grassroots community events, small business mentoring sessions and financial health seminars. We’ll continue to add these Community Center branches in underserved communities and have also retrofitted over 300 existing branches, to now include spaces for the community to use to help expand access to banking and boost financial health and inclusion among Black, Hispanic and Latino communities.
A More Diverse Workforce
Creating a lasting impact is just as much about the people we hire as it is about the programs we implement. More diverse teams will allow us to generate better ideas and better outcomes, enjoy a stronger corporate culture and deliver a more transformational banking experience to our customers. Despite the pandemic and talent retention challenges, we continue to boost our representation especially among women and people of color.
We want our branches to represent the neighborhoods they serve, which is why we continue to hire from our local communities. During this time, we’ve hired more than 300 people to community-focused roles: nearly 150 Community Managers, 150 Community Home Lending Advisors, as well as 25 diverse Senior Business Consultants.
The Community Center Manager, in particular, is a new role within the bank whose main job is to serve as local ambassadors to build trust and nurture relationships with community leaders, nonprofit partners, and small businesses.
Over the last year our Community Managers have hosted more than 1,300 community events reaching more than 36,000 nationwide with discussions ranging from ways to increase homeownership, and how to build generational wealth and stability.
As we celebrate Juneteenth this year, we are reminded of the promise and hope of the future. We are committed to ensuring that you have the resources you need to own a home, start a business, save for college – or achieve any other goals or dreams. We look forward to working together and continuing to create lasting impact for your community and family for years to come.
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