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Ally Financial Commits $30M To Black Founders And Communities In Honor Of Black Business Month

Ally Financial is supporting Black Business Month the best way companies can by investing money back into Black communities. In an effort to address issues of low capital and lack of access to funding for Black founders, the digital financial services company has pledged to make a hefty $30 million investment into venture capital funds created to support Black and people of color, a press release reports. A sum of $25 million will go toward SoLa Impact’s recently launched $300 million Black Impact Fund and the remaining $5 million will be invested into the Fearless Fund — a venture capital fund created by women of color for women of color. In addition to these investments, Ally Financial will also work closely with Fearless fund to develop a series of programs to promote more Black entrepreneurship and wealth growth. “Black-owned businesses are the backbone of many communities throughout the country,” Diane Morais — President of Consumer and Commercial Banking at Ally Bank — said in...

Aug 18, 2021

America's Only Solo-Founded Black Telehealth Company Is Helping Communities of Color Get Proper Medical Care

Though the concept of telehealth became wildly popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual health services have been around for years to give patients easy access to their healthcare providers online. While these services are available to all, patients in Black and communities of color still struggle to get the proper medical care they need without leaving their homes. According to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association last year, their data showed that Black people were more likely to self-report telehealth use in response to the pandemic than white people. However, the systemic racism that exists within the healthcare system still makes it difficult for Black and people of color to acquire telehealth tools. This issue is partly what motivated the creation of Certintell — a care management company that enables safety-net providers to make a lasting impact on the health of underserved patients through telehealth. As the only solo-founded...

Jun 9, 2021

Neobanks Are On The Rise In The Global Black Community, Here's What You Need To Know About Them

The global neobanking market is expected to reach an estimated $723 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research. As more people handle their finances online, the neobanking industry has been getting a lot of love, but what are neobanks anyway? Neobanks are digital-only financial institutions that operate similarly to traditional banks, but without physical branches, The Balance explains. You typically access neobanks through mobile applications and online platforms. While neobanking can be convenient, have lower costs and are more easily accessible, they don’t have the same accreditation as traditional banks and are regulated much less. Above all, neobanking requires access to technology and internet, a luxury that not everyone has. Another thing to think about with neobanking is that even with access to technology and internet, consumers have to be comfortable and trust tech in order to invest in using online-only banking systems. Some neobanks like N26, Atom Bank and Monzo...

Apr 14, 2021

NBA Distributes Second Round of $3M Grants to Create Career Opportunities in Black Communities

The NBA Foundation has announced a second round to distribute funds from its $3 million grant program to help generate more career and employment opportunities in Black communities as well as use its influence to drive economic empowerment. “The grants will enhance and build upon the important work of these national and local organizations that align with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready and mid-career individuals in Black communities across the United States and Canada,” the league told CNBC. According to an announcement from the NBA, nine organizations have been selected to join the foundation’s second grant round — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, Braven, Center for Leadership Development, City Year, CodeCrew, The Collective Blueprint, NAF, New Heights Youth and Road to Hire. Following the high-profile murders of individuals like George Floyd last year, teams from...

Apr 6, 2021

Michael Jordan, Jordan Brand Launch a $1M Grant Program to Continue $100M Commitment to the Black Community

During the summer of last year, at the height of the social justice reckoning, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand announced a $100 million pledge to support the Black community over the next 10 years. This week, the two entities are continuing that mission by launching the first cycle of its newly-launched Community Grants program — which aims to provide $1 million in grants to local, grassroots and social organizations that are striving to create a more equitable future for Black America. “Since announcing our commitment to the Black community in June of 2020, we’ve been focused on two things — action and impact,” Craig Williams, President of Jordan Brand, shared in a statement. “I’m excited about the impact these grants will have in local communities. We know that when we create positive change for the Black community, it benefits everyone.” According to a blog post from Nike, the first round of Community Grants — which are Facilitated by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors — are...

Apr 1, 2021

NIKE, Inc. Establishes $1M Partnership With the National Urban League to Elevate Black Communities

As part of its ongoing Black Community Commitment, NIKE, Inc. has found a new partner in the National Urban League (NUL) — alongside Converse and Jordan Brand — where it will donate $1 million to help the organization further its mission to champion Black employment and home ownership. According to an announcement, the NUL has established a strong legacy of helping Black Americans and other underserved communities receive job training, education, workforce development, housing and community development and entrepreneurship to achieve economic independence. “The National Urban League has been championing the elevation of Black lives and empowerment of Black communities for over 110 years,” Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of National Urban League, said in a statement. “With NIKE, Inc.’s investment, we’ll be able to both get more people to work in living wage jobs soon after incarceration and expand homeownership opportunities for Black individuals and families across the United...

Mar 10, 2021

JPMorgan Chase Reveals $30B Plan To Serve Black and Latinx Communities

JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced this week a $30 billion plan to advance racial equity and help remedy the country’s racial wealth gap over the next five years, as it relates mainly to underserved Black and Latinx communities, CNBC reports . According to CNBC , the bank’s pledge includes a combination of loans, investments, and philanthropy efforts that is expected to stretch beyond its normal course of business. The banking institution shared that barriers within the U.S.’ financial structures has generated profound racial inequalities that have been especially apparent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. JPMorgan Chase’s new commitment arrives to help drive more inclusive measures for the economy’s recovery efforts and eliminate systemic racism. “Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said Jamie Dimon — Chairman and CEO, MDIs JPMorgan Chase & Co. — in a press statement . “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic...

Oct 9, 2020

Bank of America Teams Up With Black-Owned Houston Bank to Help Underserved Businesses

Financial inclusion in Black communities is more than needed to strengthen our economic development and encourage generational wealth. That inclusion comes from the support we obtain from Black-owned banks who aim to provide resources specifically catered to our needs. Unity National Bank of Houston — the only Black-owned bank in Texas — is working to complete that mission through a new partnership with Bank of America. According to Black Business , Bank of America has acquired approximately 5 percent of the bank’s common equity, with its investment aimed at offering benefits to the communities that Unity serves through services such as lending, housing, neighborhood revitalization, and more. “Unity remains committed to the vision of providing banking services to historically underserved businesses and individuals during these trying times,” said Unity’s Board Chairman Dr. Kase L. Lawal in a statement . “Bank of America’s investment in Unity will strengthen our core community...

Oct 2, 2020

Y Combinator's New Directory Wants to Be a Resource For Black Founders Seeking Funding

Minority founders are getting a special kind of support from one of the most successful startup accelerators in Silicon Valley. Y Combinator — a business accelerator — has launched a new feature on its website called the YC Directory to help investors, customers, and prospective founders discover all Y Combinator-backed companies created by Black founders. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Y Combinator (@ycombinator) According to a company blog post , the directory lists over 2,000 publicly launched startup companies from the accelerator with three new built-in filters to highlight Black-founded companies, Latinx-founded companies, and women-founded companies. Courtesy Photo The idea for the new directory was inspired by internal conversations during the aftermath of the recent Black Lives Matter protests, according to the blog post. The consensus from the community was to then create landing pages to amplify Black, Latinx, and women founders in the Y Combinator fixture....

Sep 22, 2020

Alicia Keys Teams Up With the NFL to Launch $1B Fund For Black Businesses and Communities

As the effects of the pandemic and current events continue to plague America, more artists are stepping up to use their platforms for racial and financial equity. In conjunction with her performance of the Black national anthem at the NFL’s Kickoff event for the 2020 season, singer/songwriter Alicia Keys announced her partnership with the NFL to launch a $1 billion endowment fund for Black businesses and communities, Billboard reports . According to Billboard , Keys stated that she wants to build off of the progress of the protests from the last few months to raise awareness about social injustice and systematic racism by creating a more tangible solution. “We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys shared with Billboard . “As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity. This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black...

Sep 11, 2020

Nonprofit XPRIZE Wants to Help Underserved Communities Largely Impacted By Unemployment

Since the start of COVID-19, the U.S. has been rocked to its core as unemployment continues to rise while displacing many Americans from their jobs — specifically those a part of disinvested communities who have especially felt the effects of the pandemic. Over 100 days later and the country is still in search of answers to our socioeconomic issues as they relate to unemployment. However, thanks to these nonprofit organizations, we can expect to see a change on the horizon. XPRIZE —  a nonprofit organization that uses global competitions to crowdsource solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges — and New Profit — a nonprofit venture philanthropy organization that backs breakthrough social entrepreneurs in America — have joined forces. The two have announced a competition called XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling — powered by XPRIZE and MIT Solve — that aims to reinvent job training methods for displaced workers and get people back to work. The XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling Prize contest...

Aug 7, 2020

Michael B. Jordan Spearheads #ChangeHollywood Diversity Campaign For Black Talent

There’s a reckoning for change across all industries right now, and Hollywood is no exception. For the past month, Black actors and actresses have been utilizing their platforms to speak up for injustice in America and Hollywood as they share their own experiences with racism. This week, famed actor Michael B. Jordan has announced a new initiative called #ChangeHollywood, which provides action steps for studios, production companies, and agencies to push for more “anti-racist content, authentic Black stories and Black talent,” according to The Hollywood Reporter . Jordan has taken matters into his own hands as he leads the charge for this campaign — which he’s partnered with Color Of Change for — to create concrete and manageable solutions for Black talent in Hollywood that contribute to positive representation for the Black community. The actor outlined his frustration with the racist institutions in Hollywood via Twitter as he announced the new campaign. Hollywood has a history of...

Jul 24, 2020

These Two Black Women Just Launched a Non-Profit to Rebuild Black Businesses

For many small and Black-owned businesses, COVID-19 has presented an uphill battle of maintaining and surviving the fragile economy. Additionally, some businesses have also suffered as a result of the uprisings and civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. While some business owners have made individual efforts to rebuild, CEOs Alexis Akarolo and Zelnnetta Clark teamed up to create Rebuild the Block , which works to give small Black-owned businesses a helping hand to get back on their feet. What started as a GoFundMe page blossomed into a full-blown organization determined to rebuild businesses in the Black community so they can continue to prosper. Credit: Alexis Akarolo Co-founder Akarolo — creative director for clothing brand, Lovello Elizabeth , and graduate student at Penn State — described the initiative as “divine intervention” in the way that it came together. A personal passion project of hers turned into a joint venture with her former college roommate, Clark — a...

Jul 6, 2020

PepsiCo, Inc. Pledges $7M to Support Devastated Communities of Color

COVID-19 has hit Black and Latinx communities immensely over the past few weeks, leaving many unemployed and without proper resources to fight against the virus. As a response, PepsiCo, Inc. and The PepsiCo Foundation has partnered with the National Urban League and UnidosUS to donate $7 million to devastated communities of color, according to a press release. “COVID-19 has once again put a spotlight on the deep-rooted health and economic disparities that have long faced communities of color,” said the CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, Steven Williams, in a statement . “In response to this, we’re helping to provide immediate relief and support long-term recovery for Black and Latino communities. But just as these inequities existed well before coronavirus, we will continue to do our part and be a partner to these communities in the months and years ahead.” In an effort to effectively help communities of color, PepsiCo identified several metropolitan areas in the country where they...

May 22, 2020

Are Black Communities Getting Access to Coronavirus Tests? Doctors Don't Think So

Racial bias in healthcare affects Black people disproportionately. As a global health pandemic spreads, doctors fear Black communities don’t have access to adequate coronavirus tests. BuzzFeed News reports that a group of Virginia-based doctors—Dr. Cameron Webb, Dr. Taison Bell, Dr. Leigh-Ann Webb, and Dr. Ebony Hilton—is requesting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization release data about testing in underserved areas. The concern with current public information is the absence of stats broken down by race and ethnicity. They fear that Black people aren’t tested. As a result, they are not being treated. “I want to make sure that in this pandemic, that Black and Brown people are treated in the same way and that these tests are made available in the same pattern as for white people,” Dr. Ebony Hilton, an associate professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Virginia, told BuzzFeed. The public has already...

Mar 23, 2020