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JPMorgan Pledges $3M for Social Justice Causes

June 10, 2020

JPMorgan is the latest Wall Street firm to pledge financial support for the promotion of racial equality in the wake of mass protests following the death of another African American while in police custody, according to news reports.

 The company has committed $3 million to fund civil rights organizations focused on racial justice, local nonprofits and communities hurt by the Covid-19 crisis, FA-IQ sister publication FundFire writes, citing a memo JPMorgan sent employees on Monday. The firm also announced that it would match, two-to-one, its employees’ contributions to groups supporting justice and inclusion, and said that its employees had already donated more than $373,000 as of Friday, according to the memo cited by FundFire.

The announcement comes three weeks into nationwide protests against racial injustice, accompanied by occasional violent clashes with the police and looting, in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody on May 25. Officer Derek Chauvin had kneeled on Floyd’s back and neck for close to nine minutes, all of which was filmed by a bystander. 

“In the face of systemic racial injustice, brutal inequality and the senseless violence we have witnessed in the U.S. against the Black community, it’s clear that the status quo is not an option,” wrote Brian Lamb, global head of diversity and inclusion, in the memo, according to FundFire. “As managers and leaders, we all have a platform to drive defining and sustainable action.”

The memo also invited employees to join a moment of silence yesterday for Floyd, asking them not to conduct business and pause meetings during one minute of silence, the publication writes. 

Dimon and Lamb told employees in a memo at the end of May that the firm is “committed to fighting against racism and discrimination wherever and however it exists.”

JPMorgan itself has been in the spotlight over diversity issues after The New York Times ran an exposé in December that detailed racial discrimination allegations by a former JPMorgan financial advisor and one of the firm’s clients.

CEOs of other major companies, including Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and U.S. Bancorp, have been issuing statements pledging their commitment to racial equality and inclusiveness. And JPMorgan isn’t the first major financial institution to pledge financial support to fight for diversity and inclusion. 

Last week, Goldman Sachs set up a $10 million fund for racial equity, while Morgan Stanley announced a $5 million donation to the NAACP and that it’s forming a new Institute of Inclusion, funded with $25 million and aimed at overseeing “the mentoring, development and promotion of our diverse employees,” among other goals, CEO James Gorman wrote in a memo. And earlier this month, Bank of America pledged $1 billion to a four-year commitment to fund job training and support for health, small business and housing with a focus on minority populations. 

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By Alex Padalka
  • To read the FundFire article cited in this story, click here if you have a paid subscription.
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