On Tuesday, JPMorgan Chase announced a $75 million, five-year commitment in philanthropic capital and flexible low-cost loans to the Greater Washington region. These investments are drawn from critical lessons learned from the firm’s business growth and community investments in the Mid-Atlantic region over the past five years.
Wards 7 & 8 in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland will each benefit from $20 million from the new commitment, while the remaining $35 million will be divided up across the region including to places such as Richmond, Virginia. This new commitment brings the firm’s total investments focused on Black, Hispanic, Latino and other underserved communities in the region to $125 million by 2025.
Prior to the pandemic, almost one-fifth of the D.C. population was living in poverty. The racial wealth gap was eight times greater than the national average, with white households in D.C. having 81 times the wealth of Black households — and the pandemic has only widened the gap ( Urban Institute ).
“Business must do its part to help solve challenges facing the customers and communities it serves,” said Peter Scher, Vice Chairman, JPMorgan Chase & Co “Addressing inequities requires concerted and sustained efforts by public and private sector partners that seek to build wealth for Communities of Color. This new commitment, along with what we’ve learned from growing our business and community support here, will hopefully be a model for others to follow and help create meaningful, lasting, and equitable change in the region.”
Creating a More Equitable Greater Washington Region
From the firm’s initial $10 million commitment, it has learned a number of lessons which will inform its business and philanthropic investments, collaboration with business and community partners and policy support going forward:
1) Regional collaboration is necessary to bridge the racial wealth divide
2) Invest in women of color, who are key drivers of household economic mobility
3) Change systems by removing embedded barriers through intentional and integrated investment, philanthropy and policy
4) Invest in diverse-led organizations and business that are “by and for” communities of color
Some of the firm’s new philanthropic investments, which have been informed by these lessons, include support for an effort to connect women to wealth building opportunities, and a long-term affordable housing initiative that seeks to advance systems change.
Connecting Women to Wealth-Building Opportunities in the Region
As part of JPMorgan Chase’s annual competition to source innovative and sustainable ideas to advance equity in communities across the U.S., the firm sourced proposals for projects designed for and by Black and Latina women to address racial and gender wealth gaps.
Two of the six winning collaborations are from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD. Each collaboration has been awarded $5 million to advance and help source solutions for women who have been disproportionately impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19.
- Advancing Early Education Collaborative —In the Washington region, the majority of early childcare educators are Black and Latina women and only one-fifth of all early childhood educators in the Washington region have a bachelor’s degree. Educators with bachelor’s degrees have more access to promotions, and a higher average hourly wage ( Urban Institute, 2018 ).
With JPMorgan Chase’s $5 million three-year commitment, Martha’s Table, LIFT DC, Venture Philanthropy Partners, American University, and Trinity Washington University will launch the Advancing Early Education Collaborative—a partnership to increase access to education, skills, and training opportunities in the field of early education for Black and Latina women specifically in Wards 7 & 8 in D.C.
- POWER: Prioritizing Our Women’s Economic Rise Collaborative – 66% of Black and Latino Baltimore households meet the standard for liquid-asset poverty. The largest percentage of those experiencing poverty are women between 25 and 54, with 50% of this population also being cost-burdened renters.
With JPMorgan Chase’s $5 million three-year commitment, Latino Economic Development Center of Washington D.C., University of Maryland Baltimore’s Community Engagement Center, Black Women Build Baltimore, Baltimore- D.C. Building Trades, Byte Back and Baltimore Community Lending will create a continuum of wealth building programs for Black and Latina women real estate developers in West Baltimore.
Closing the Housing Affordability Gap
By combining business, data, policy and philanthropic resources, the firm aims to improve housing affordability and stability as well as homeownership opportunities for Black, Latino and Hispanic households in the Greater-Washington area.
JPMorgan Chase is supporting organizations that will create sustainable solutions.
- Parity Homes– Redlining, urban renewal, and eminent domain have decimated once thriving Black communities, limiting opportunities for Black households to generate wealth.
With JPMorgan Chase’s $2 million three-year commitment, Parity Homes will scale its approach to sparking upfront demand for homeownership opportunities in neighborhoods experiencing hyper vacancy by creating pathways for existing residents and other social collectives to purchase homes together block-by-block as a means of community-building and wealth-building.
- Equal Justice Works – With JPMorgan Chase’s $1.5 million three-year commitment, Equal Justice Works will bring together a group of lawyers and community organizers (‘Fellows’) as part of its Housing Justice Program to increase access to high-quality legal services and tenant resources for low-income Black, Latino and Hispanic households and residents of public housing. Housing Justice Program Fellows will also engage in high impact litigation to support practices that protect the rights of tenants across Virginia.
- Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development – With JPMorgan Chase’s $1.95 million three-year commitment, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development will lead a multi-sector effort to help Black, Hispanic and Latino residents build wealth by increasing the supply of safe, affordable housing and building pathways for local ownership.
This investment is part of the firm’s collaboration with the Center for Community Investment to support six cities to advance more equitable housing results.
These commitments continue to be informed by recent progress and insights from the firm’s philanthropic work in the region since 2017, and through conversations with local community, government and business leaders in Washington D.C., Baltimore and Richmond.
“We are focused, in Washington, D.C., on how we give more residents a fair shot and make our city’s prosperity more inclusive. Part of that work means bringing together public, private, and philanthropic partners to make strategic investments in the people and communities that need them most. And that’s what we’re doing here,” said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This investment from JPMorgan Chase, an investment in Black and Latina women, in early education, and in affordable housing, will give more families in D.C. the fair shot they deserve.”
Tuesday’s announcement is part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion racial equity commitment to advance economic inclusion and help close the racial wealth gap.
JPMorgan Chase has been doing business in Greater Washington since 1999 and serves more than 2.3 million consumers and 94,000 business clients in the region. By the end of 2022, Chase is expected to open more than 70 branches from Baltimore to Richmond with 28% of branches in low to moderate income communities.