Businesses have a critical role to play in helping address systemic racism.
Why it’s important: COVID-19 has exacerbated already unacceptably pronounced levels of economic inequality and systemic racism in America. Low-income communities and people of color are disproportionately bearing the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
- In response, JPMorgan Chase is building on their multi-billion-dollar investments to advance inclusive growth to help address racial economic inequality, particularly for Black communities.
- JPMorgan Chase is combining business and philanthropic resources and advancing policy solutions to help accelerate investments in education, training and small business development that lead to higher wages and better living standards for the Black community.
What JPMorgan Chase is saying:
“We have a collective responsibility to stand up and take serious action to address centuries of structural racism. We can all do better and do more. Our words and actions matter.”
– Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase Jamie Dimon
The idea: Business, in partnership with government and community leaders, must step up to help address barriers to quality education and careers, financial health, neighborhood revitalization and small businesses.
What JPMorgan Chase is doing:
Expanding access to capital: Small businesses are key drivers of economic growth and that growth is faster among minority entrepreneurs. However they often lack access to capital and mentorship opportunities.
- In May 2020, JPMorgan Chase dedicated $150M in flexible, low-cost loans to underserved small businesses and nonprofits.
- This builds on the existing Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, which expands access to capital and advisory services for minority entrepreneurs. The program supports minority-owned businesses in Detroit, San Francisco, the South Bronx and the Greater Washington region.
Hiring and mentoring Black students: JPMorganChase is working to improve educational opportunities and job readiness for students of color by:
- Hiring more than 4,000 Black students at the firm in roles such as apprenticeships, internships and full-time positions over the next five years.
- Providing 1,000 young men of color the skills needed to prepare for college and career success through The Fellowship Initiative.
1 in 3 American adults have a criminal record.
In its first year, JPMorgan Chase’s PolicyCenter has focused on helping to clear pathways to employment for people with criminal backgrounds by:
- Advancing policy to restore higher education Pell Grants to people in prison.
- Banning the box on job applications at JPMorgan Chase and advocating for federal and state legislation.
- Advocating for policies that reform clean state laws.
JPMorgan Chase is giving people a second chance by helping ensure qualified applicants receive the same consideration– regardless of criminal background.
- The likelihood of callbacks and job offers is reduced by almost half when disclosing arrest or conviction records on an initial employment application.
- 463k incarcerated people would be eligible for higher education Pell Grants if the ban were lifted.
“An initiative like Second Chance can have a domino effect in a positive way. Companies should know that this population, just like any other, has good talent with great knowledge and a wealth of experience – they just need an opportunity.”
– JPMorgan Chase Recruiting Associate Sharon Stevens.
JPMorgan Chase is committed to action to create a more equitable world for Black communities by investing in making cities more inclusive, advancing policy change, making home ownership more accessible and more.
The takeaway: Going back to business as usual is not an option. Business leaders must use their resources and platform –including through policy and business changes – to address racial and economic inequality.