Jan 12, 2022 - Economy & Business

Exclusive: King Center partners with Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative

April 29, 2018 photo shows the tomb where Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta Scott King are interred in Atlanta at the King Center.

This April 29, 2018 photo shows the tomb where Martin Luther King, Jr., and his wife Coretta Scott King are interred in Atlanta at the King Center. (Photo: AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)

Goldman Sachs is helping to relaunch a youth leadership program run by the King Center, Axios is first to report.

  • The new partnership, announced today, is part of the investment firm’s $10 billion, 10-year effort to close the economic gap that Black women continue to face.

Why it matters: Goldman Sachs launched its One Million Black Women initiative last March in response to a national outcry for companies and individuals to do more to reverse racial injustices. 

  • Civil rights leader Coretta Scott King founded the King Center in Atlanta following the assassination of her husband Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote nonviolent social change.

Details: The King Center’s Beloved Community Leadership Academy is designed to help 13- to 18-year-olds develop leadership skills and character, while learning about nonviolent strategies that can lead to societal change. 

  • Through the partnership, the program will also create a cohort of Black girls from across the country who can participate in programs related to One Million Black Women and access mentorship.

What they’re saying: “By lifting up Black women and girls everywhere, we can not only honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., but also create a more dynamic and inclusive economy,” said David Solomon, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs. 

The big picture: The inequities affecting a demographic group which makes up more than 6% of the U.S. population has held the country back from meeting its economic potential, S&P Global U.S. chief economist Beth Ann Bovino told Axios executive editor Aja Whitaker-Moore

  • The pandemic has also exacerbated the gap.
  • The latest example: While the unemployment rate for U.S. workers fell in December, the percentage of Black women who were unemployed grew to 6.2% from 4.9% in November — the only gender and racial group to experience an increase.
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