WASHINGTON—One year after launching the Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) program, JPMorgan Chase is reaffirming its commitment to help more black Americans achieve sustained economic success. ABP builds on the firm’s existing efforts to help communities of color by focusing on three key areas where black Americans have historically trailed 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,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 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.”
According to Prosperity Now, if the current trends persist, the median wealth of black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053 1. In addition, despite accounting for nearly 13% of the U.S. population 2, black people occupy less than 8% of the nation’s white-collar jobs 3. 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 4.
“JPMorgan Chase formed Advancing Black Pathways over a year ago to invest in black individuals, families and businesses in an effort to help more African Americans fully participate in our growing economy,” said Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking and executive sponsor of ABP.
“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,” Duckett said.
Here are some highlights of what JPMorgan Chase accomplished through ABP to help black Americans in 2019.
1. Wealth Creation:
- In partnership with Essence Communications, ABP engaged nearly 16,000 people, primarily black women, in dialogue about how to achieve financial wellness through Currency Conversations. ABP gathered women in bank branches and in other locations nationwide to explore basic financial topics and set goals as a key step towards long-term wealth creation.The firm focused on this demographic because more than 70% of black women are either the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, according to the Center for American Progress 5 .
- ABP partnered with the firm’s Supplier Diversity group to support black businesses in 2019, helping to double the number of black suppliers to JPMorgan Chase. The firm was also inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an exclusive group of U.S.-based companies that have spent at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers, and work collectively to advance supplier diversity.
2. Education and Careers:
- ABP created an apprentice program dedicated to helping black college underclassmen get on a path to internships and entry-level roles with the firm after graduation. The initial class of 50 apprentices worked on real-time business challenges for Business Banking clients in Plano, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Wilmington, Delaware. The firm hired more than 1,000 black students in 2019. ABP will help drive the firm’s efforts to hire at least 4,000 by 2024 as apprentices, interns and full-time analysts.
- Through ABP’s efforts, the firm delivered financial health training to more than 4,000 students, including 2,000 summer interns. The training consisted of live instruction on a wide range of personal finance topics, including budgeting and saving, credit health, and how to manage a monthly budget. Incoming Howard University students were required to take this training as part of their freshman orientation program, which will be delivered to additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2020.
- JPMorgan Chase launched the Advisory Development Program in 2018, which seeks to expand racial, ethnic and gender diversity of financial advisors. Today, with support from ABP, this program has 222 participants—25% of whom are black.”
How JPMorgan Chase Is Building on its Commitment to Helping the Black Community
1. Student Financial Hardship Fund
Through ABP, JPMorgan Chase is committing $1 million 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 these funds to students who attend publicly-supported HBCUs within their respective networks of 84 member schools.
Students can access these funds to pay for a wide range of expenses – including outstanding tuition balances, apartment deposits, unanticipated car repairs, medical expenses, unpaid utility bills and short-term food insecurity. Students can also use these funds to buy textbooks, or travel home for family-related emergencies.
“TMCF prides itself on removing as many barriers to opportunity as possible for the nearly 300,000 students in our 47 member-school network,” said Harry L. Williams, TMCF President and CEO. “Mission-driven partners like JPMorgan Chase understand that finances can be a significant hurdle for our students but they are doing something about it through this important scholarship.”
UNCF President and CEO Michael Lomax said that for low-income families – like those of the 92% of UNCF students who qualify for financial aid – the money needed to handle an emergency can mean the difference between staying in school and dropping out.
“This program is vital because once students leave school due to financial hardship, there is a huge risk that they will never return,” Lomax said. “We owe it to these students to be there for them when their college education is at risk.”
UNCF is the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students.
2. Advancing Black Entrepreneurship
JPMorgan Chase also announced a new initiative to improve access to capital and business advisory services for black small business owners. This initiative— which is still under development and will launch later in 2020— will prepare black entrepreneurs for the loan application process and provide improved access to Chase’s Business Banking advisory services.
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,” said Sekou 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 6, so we must do our part to promote and advance small business ownership.”
3. Helping Non-Profit Organizations Advance Racial Equity 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. This new philanthropic investment brings the firm’s support for this initiative to more than $8.8 million across eight cities – Dallas, Wilmington, New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle and Minneapolis – since 2015. The initiative provides leaders with intensive leadership training, resource development and support for network building to enable them to both help their clients build wealth and strengthen
their organizations. It also supports critical research and policy efforts to help address the racial wealth divide. Research from Prosperity Now shows that from 1983-2013, the wealth of African American households declined by 75% compared with a 14% percent increase for white American households. “Through our partnership with JPMorgan Chase, we are building a national network of leaders of color working to achieve racial economic equity,” said Lillian Singh, Vice President of Racial Wealth Equity. “Through the release of our city-level racial wealth divide profiles, there is consensus that we must address growing racial economic inequality – so we are investing in the capacity and resilience of organizations to harness public, private, philanthropic, and political partnerships as they build power to serve their clients and build community-level assets.”
- Inclusiv: The firm is making a $1 million commitment to Inclusiv to help people in low- and moderate-income communities in Detroit and Cleveland, improve their financial health. With JPMorgan Chase’s support, up to 10 Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) credit unions will increase their operational capacity to better serve more people in the communities where they operate. In addition, with JPMorgan Chase’s support, Inclusiv will build tailored FINtech solutions to address the needs of low-and-moderate-income individuals. Inclusiv will share best practices and lessons learned with the 264 credit unions in their network that spans 48 states. “Inclusiv was organized over 40 years ago by primarily minority credit unions, and these institutions continue to serve a critical function today, acting as a force for economic empowerment and inclusion within communities traditionally excluded from accessing safe and affordable financial services,” said Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv President and CEO. “African American credit unions are, and will continue to be, some of the best tools we have to strengthen our communities and fight back against the growing divide of income inequality and the racial wealth gap.”
Additional Efforts by JPMorgan Chase to Help Communities of Color
In addition to ABP, JPMorgan Chase has a number of programs designed to help people of color achieve economic and career success. These programs include:
- The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund: A program that has provided support to more than 400 minority-owned businesses through community lending partners across five U.S. metro areas.
- The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): Launched in 2010, TFI is a three-year intensive program that provides young men of color with academic support, college preparation, professional development and mentorships. In the decade since TFI’s launch, the program has expanded to serve 200 Fellows across four cities (NYC, LA, Chicago and Dallas). One hundred percent of TFI graduates have been accepted into college. Four have been hired by our firm. JPMorgan Chase is expanding the program and also working with nonprofit partners across the country to implement the TFI model to reach significantly more young men of color.
Advancing Black Leaders (ABL): Launched in early 2016, ABL is a firm-wide strategy focused on increasing black representation across all businesses and levels. The ABL team works with senior leaders and the HR community to identify and implement strategies that close the gap in attracting, hiring, retaining and advancing black talent within JPMorgan Chase. Through strategic sourcing, internal talent development, manager accountability and a focus on students, the program is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all can thrive and advance.
— Source and photos: JPMorgan Chase, H.O.P.E. Project DMV, and National BDPA
- 1 Source: The Road to Zero Wealth, September 2017
- 2 Source: Pew Research, February 22, 2018
- 3 Source: Harvard Business Review, February 28, 2018
- 4 Source: The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, The Nationwide Gap in Racial College Graduation Rates, January 22, 2018
- 5 Source: The Center for American Progress, August 7, 2017.
- 6 Source: The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success, February 16, 2017.