In its first major endeavor in the United Kingdom to promote racial equity, JPMorgan Chase is committing about $2.6 million to back nonprofit groups in London led by Black and other minority leaders.
The announcement of the philanthropic investment by America’s largest bank was made Nov. 17 at the Powerlist Black Excellence Awards, an event honoring Black business, political, and community leaders in the U.K.
The bank reports its new effort aims to provide financing and other technical help to boost the work of minority-led nonprofits that are facing an unprecedented demand for their services given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on ethnic minorities. It focuses on creating pathways to stable jobs, entrepreneurship, and financial health for communities that have been historically underserved through community-led, localized, and targeted solutions.
The fresh effort follows a $30 billion commitment by JPMorgan Chase to advance racial equity through its expertise in business, policy, and philanthropy. The bank’s drive includes efforts to help Black and Latinx Americans develop wealth, buy homes, and grow businesses.
The bank plans in the U.K. to also work with other organizations, including the London Community Foundation. The collaboration aims to help remove opportunity barriers for Black and minority communities by strengthening entities that focus on jobs and skills, small business growth, and financial health.
Viswas Raghavan, CEO of JPMorgan in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), stated, “As part of our global commitment to racial equity, JPMorgan Chase is focused on helping develop local, community-driven solutions to help historically underserved Londoners share in the benefits of an inclusive economy.”
The bank disclosed structural barriers in the U.K. have fueled racial inequalities aggravated by the pandemic. While over half of white groups reported they had not been affected financially by the coronavirus, and that they don’t struggle with paying bills or for essentials, only a third of Black and minority ethnic people reported the same.
Kate Markey, CEO of London Community Foundation, stated, “This is an important initiative for London’s communities as it seeks to invest in both BME-led frontline organizations, providing vital employment and financial health support, as well as the organizations that can support their resilience and voice.”
The bank claims the commitment builds on the approach the firm has taken in its support of London Youth, where the firm provides technical aid to help 15 youth clubs across London empower young people. This action helps boost their employability by building their skills and connecting them with employers.
Syed Uddin, Head of Operations at Leaders in Community Youth Club in East London, added, “Building out our capacity to deliver employability support has allowed us to be more impactful in helping the young people who come to our club. We are now better able to work with them to pursue their career and education goals. We have been able to exchange ideas with other youth clubs, train staff to offer relevant advice and guidance, access better employability resources online, introduce a skills development framework and use new digital tools for virtual career insight and work experience opportunities.”