Taking Pride In America’s LGBT Economy

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Collage with diverse people and "America's LGBT Economy" Title in the middle

Money talks. And now, more than ever, the private sector is listening to the collective voice of the LGBT community. In many ways, our dollar is as strong as our votes at the ballot box.

We have fought hard to secure our rights in the name of equality, but our true equity and ability to bring about change for our community lies with our economic power. Our buying power and impact on the nation’s gross domestic product have given us tremendous leverage to advance political advocacy and global human rights.

As is true with our social visibility, our economic visibility is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society — and the power of the LGBT dollar is becoming more and more visible every day.

That was the impetus for the formation of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce nearly 20 years ago. In 2002, we realized no one had truly considered the economic equality of LGBT people or the impact economics could have on the equality movement. With over 1.4 million LGBT business owners (and growing) behind us, we have seen the LGBT community earn its place at the table of economic opportunity. And it’s not just the Fortune 500 who are actively marketing to, partnering with, and procuring from the LGBT business community. Thanks to NGLCC’s public policy leadership, over thirty state, county, and local governments are welcoming our community’s businesses as an essential part of an equitable COVID-19 recovery.

Two decades ago, slapping a rainbow on a liquor bottle for one month of the year was enough for a brand to consider themselves “gay-friendly.” Findings from LGBT economic experts, however, have taught corporations the value of LGBT brand loyalty. More than 75 percent of LGBT adults and their friends, family, and relatives say they would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT friendly. In 2017 alone, the LGBT consumer buying power was over $917 billion. But we are so much more than just consumers.

If the total contributed value of the estimated 1.4 million American LGBT business owners is considered, our input to the economy is over $1.7 trillion. That would make LGBT Americans the 10th largest economy in the world.

Furthermore, our community’s businesses grow larger and last longer than others in the United States. On average, American small businesses fail around the five-year mark, but NGLCC’s certified LGBT-owned business enterprises average over twice that, with at least 12 years in business.

These LGBT-owned businesses are also powerful job creators: 900 LGBT-owned companies we studied created an estimated 33,000 jobs. LGBT entrepreneurs are committed to hiring greater numbers of LGBT employees and ensuring their own supply chains are as diverse as possible. Business leaders in our community continually redefine industries and shatter stereotypes. From technology firms to local restaurants and retail shops, we are proving every day that if you buy it, an LGBT-owned business can supply it.

When you look at a price tag, look for an indication that the company is an LGBT-inclusive corporation or an NGLCC Certified Business Enterprise. It has never been easier to go online or check with your local LGBT chamber of commerce to make sure you support the brands that have our community’s back. If you are an LGBT business owner and not yet certified as one, you’re leaving opportunities on the table to help your business and be counted as part of our LGBT global economy. You could join our ranks as a role model, job creator, and future LGBT business success story.

When it comes to diverse communities — LGBT people, women, people of color, people with disabilities, and more — we must stand in solidarity as a business force. We have never seen greater cooperation and solidarity than we have in recent months. And a great deal of that is due to the recognition that LGBT people are also part of every other community.

Use the LGBT community’s trillion-dollar clout to make a difference. Support your community when you shop, seek out LGBT-owned businesses when you invest and stand by those who stand with us. The LGBT community is an economic force to be reckoned with — and every one of us plays a part in it.

Read the report at Nglcc.org/report.


JUSTIN NELSON and CHANCE MITCHELL are cofounders of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). NGLCC is the business voice of the LGBT community, the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people, and the exclusive certifying body for LGBT-owned businesses. www.nglcc.org @nglcc

In New York, Eight Young Bipoc And LGBTQ+ Artists Take Over The Subway

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VMAS IN NEW YORK, EIGHT YOUNG BIPOC AND LGBTQ+ ARTISTS TAKE OVER THE SUBWAY

By Virginia Lowman, MTV

During a chaotic year that has laid bare the divisive inequities within our society, music and art have often served as universal entities to ground us, tell our stories, and provide a sense of escape. Now, a new exhibition hosted by MTV pays homage to that sense of unity. Nestled appropriately within the belowground subway station at Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue terminal at Barclays Center — that great mixing pot where riders from all walks of life brush elbows on a communal commute, as well as the initially planned home of the 2020 VMAs — the show takes over public advertising spaces to amplify the diverse work of eight emerging visual artists working in a variety of media.

Conceptualized by MTV’s Rich Tu, Vice President of Digital Design, and Antonia Baker, Senior Director of Marketing, who were inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests that took place at Barclays Center earlier in the summer, each artist submitted original pieces inspired by the themes of unity, music, space, and the future, which will remain on view through September 6. Where some works feature futuristic dance parties in outer space, others aim to combat tropes that lead people to view BIPOC communities through an exoticizing lens. The result is a vibrant picture of youth and the beauty of the differences that exist between us, as well as a love letter to New York City. Here, the artists share their stories, the inspiration for their work, and more.

  • Amika Cooper, Illustrator

    Amika Cooper’s exuberant depictions of Black women as divine beings are both a call to activism and a celebration of the beauty of Blackness and the LGBTQ+ community. “It’s important to me to refute the idea of the ‘strong Black woman’ and other tropes that limit the public perspective of Black femmes,” she tells MTV News. Working across digital illustration, 2-D animation, and collage, her art plays with space and draws upon rich hues: showing Black women as healers and rulers with lush curls or donning Egyptian headdresses as rulers of the galaxy. Raised in Toronto, she now calls Brooklyn home, but her West Indian and South American heritage is tightly woven into her work. “The culture I grew up on is the product of the unwavering ingenuity in enslaved and indentured people,” Cooper says. Her latest pieces lean heavily into geometry, “a reflection of the forces that connect us and remind us of the importance of creating, sharing, and repeating.”

  • Bronson Farr, Photographer

    For Bronson Farr, art is about making people feel seen. A photographer and director, his craft resides in the sweet spot between beauty and discomfort, with overlapping themes of vulnerability, power, and voyeurism. “People’s faces tell incredible stories when they’re being honest, even if it’s a bit scary,” Farr says. His work casts Black men in a gentle, intimate glow juxtaposed with a sense of reverence and longing. One photo depicts a man against a terracotta backdrop, his chest exposed, his view obstructed by buds of baby’s breath and a sheet of tulle that hides his face. It’s a playful subversion of stereotypes about Black masculinity, calling the viewer to see the softness and serenity in these boys. “My aim is to allow the viewer permission to see Black people, especially men, the way I do — wrapped in warmth, love, and light, and deserving of your protection.” Farr hopes his art takes people on a journey that acknowledges the experiences and feelings of someone who has “[gone] through some shit” but has found their happy ending.

  • Eugenia Mello, Illustrator

    When tapped to participate in the Atlantic Avenue terminal takeover, Brooklyn-based, Argentina-born illustrator Eugenia Mello sought to “translate music into shapes” and create a mural that vibrates so loud a viewer can feel it. She explores the relationship between emotion and the body: Abstract shapes in deep primaries paint the scenes of a dance club alive with rhythm and heat. Her incorporation of contrasting colors and angular shapes adds depth to the image harkening back to a time before social distancing was the norm and when dancing in groups generated a feeling of electricity. Her work is heavily musical, pulling from an upbringing in South America and the Caribbean that was “bursting with energy.” She credits the grassroots spirit of the Venezuelan political climate of the early 2000s as helping her find her own artistic voice: “People would march, exercising their right of free speech by chanting and dancing with loud music,” she says. “Expression was with the whole body.”

  • Eva Zar, Photographer

    Eva Zar wields self-expression as a means of liberation. Raised within a traditional Russian-Austrian household, she uses photography to relay messages of empowerment and self-love. Focusing her lens on the beauty and sensuality of her subjects, her soft, almost retro depictions are subtly nonconformist. “A lot of my art speaks directly against the lessons and rules I grew up with,” she says. “I wanted to create art that shows different types of bodies and liberates women from the idea of only being a wife.” Her latest series exists at the intersection of music and performance, in one instance crafting an image of a dancer clad in black trainers and a neon tracksuit dancing on the stage at a Lynchian bar. Metallic decor and striking cateye liner are reminiscent of the heightened glamour of the disco days. Often incorporating her friends as her muses, her vivid portraiture captures the strength of the LGBTQ+ community; it is a reminder that regardless of what is happening in the world, “our community gives us space for an inclusive and safe future.”

  • Kervin Brisseaux, Illustrator

    Three words come to mind in viewing illustrator Kervin Brisseaux’s vibrant digital drawings: rich, conversational, animated. With a background in architectural studies, bold graphics and crisp lines are at the forefront of Brisseaux’s work. Whether he’s fusing cultures and experimenting with typography or scribing his own language into being, his work always has something to say. His art isn’t just about aesthetic pleasure, it’s also about tapping into discussions that are happening each day. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to not only provide eye-candy but contribute to the relevant conversations of today,” he tells MTV News. The three works he displays at the Atlantic Avenue terminal — a standout piece emphasizing the intersection of culture, art, and identity through the use of contrasting browns and yellows, as well as tribal markings on the face of a sweating subject entranced and empowered by the music playing through their headphones — highlight his bold style, presenting subjects as warriors who champion individuality.

Click here to read the full article on MTV.

Rihanna releases first Savage X Fenty Pride collection

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Rihanna attends a Fenty event in February 2020 in an orange turtle neck

By Melissa Minton, Page Six

Rihanna is starting off Pride Month with a bang. The pop star’s Savage X Fenty lingerie brand launched its first-ever Pride collection on Tuesday, along with an accompanying campaign. “Pride is all about appreciating your authentic self,” Rihanna, 33, said in a statement. “I am very excited about this collection and showing love and support to the LGBTQIA+ community, which includes so many of our customers, team members and fans.”

Just last September, Savage X Fenty — which is now valued at more than $1 billion — announced an expansion into styles for men. The brand’s star-studded Pride campaign features model couple Ahmad Kanu and Rahquise Bowen, artist Aya Brown, plus-size model and dancer Dexter Mayfield, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Gigi Goode, transgender influencer Jaslene Whiterose, Fenty Skin model Jazzelle Zanaughtti, Rihanna’s personal hairstylist Yusef Williams and more.

Available in sizes from 30A to 42H and XS to 3X, the collection includes smoking jackets, jock straps, crop tops, hosiery, boxer briefs and even a whip. Prices range from $16.95 to $69.95, with purchases from the line supporting LGBTQ+ organizations including GLAAD, the Audre Lorde Project, The Caribbean Equality Project, INC., Trans Latin@ Coalition and the Trans Wellness Center.

Click here to read the full article on Page Six.

Actor Hill Harper launches The Black Wall Street platform aimed at empowering investors of color

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Hill Harper wearing a blue coat jacket and smiling at the camera while he attends the Netflix Golden Globe Weekend Cocktail Party at Cecconi’s Restaurant

By Frank Holland, CNBC

Nearly a century after Black Wall Street — a center of Black business in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was destroyed in a racial attack — “The Good Doctor” actor Hill Harper is launching a fintech app of the same name to empower investors of color.

The Black Wall Street app goes live on June 1 and will offer a digital wallet for peer-to-peer payment and the ability to trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.

“What the Black Wall Street was in Tulsa and the Greenwood district is just very empowering,” Harper told CNBC about the once thriving Black business district.

“There were three pillars that created the wealth that was created in the Black Wall Street [in Tulsa],” he said, with the first two being institutional ownership and institutional trust by the community. “Pillar number three was the movement of money or capital within the ecosystem where dollars changed hands 60 to 100 times within a year before it left that Black community.”

Harper, who plays Dr. Marcus Andrews on the ABC medical show, said that dollars now leave the Black community within about seven hours. “I truly believe that unless we start owning our own fintech platforms, our own digital wallets, the dollar will leave within six to seven seconds.” said Harper, who also played Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CBS’ “CSI: NY.”

The goal of The Black Wall Street app is to give Black and Latinx investors a gateway into the digital transformation of investing and provide financial education to customers on cryptocurrency.

Harper, a Harvard Law School graduate, said he began working with Black web developers last year before the Covid pandemic to build the app, which aims to capitalize on mobile device trends in communities of color.

According to a 2019 report from Pew Research Center, 23% of Black Americans and 25% of Latinx Americans are “smart phone only” internet users compared with 12% of white Americans. The Pew study also showed Black Americans use a smartphone for mobile banking more than any other group.

Harper said he’s hoping to attract “unbanked” consumers and more sophisticated investors looking for a Black-owned site for cryptocurrency purchasing. “It’s not just about transferring money to folks, it’s about transferring information, ideas, and building community, and we see that that is the real value and the real differentiator.”

Najah Roberts, a cryptocurrency expert and owner of Crypto Blockchain Plug — a brick-and-mortar location in Inglewood, California, for cryptocurrency education and purchasing — will serve as the chief visionary officer for the app. As part of the launch, The Black Wall Street is planning a 30-city financial literacy tour that begins on April 30 in Los Angeles, with stops in Tulsa on May 31, a century since the original Black Wall Street was destroyed in a riot by white residents. Roberts will lead the tour and give fractional bitcoin shares to people who sign up.

The Black Wall Street offering enters a growing industry of fintech apps that allow peer-to-peer transfers including Square’s Cash App from PayPal’s Venmo. Visa estimates there is $4 trillion market for apps that replace the use of cash and checks in the United States. Rapper Killer Mike also launched this year the Greenwood app, another digital platform for investors of color.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

The City of Austin’s RENT Assistance program

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RENT assistance program flyer with picture of nurses and doctors wearing masks

The program is available for low-income Austin residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and are struggling to pay their rent. 2020 has been challenging for everyone and the City of Austin has expanded its RENT Assistance program making it easier for eligible candidates to apply.

The RENT assistance program will pay up to 12-15 months of rent for eligible Austin renters and may cover the following:

Future rent payments will be provided three months at a time and families will be requalified every three months after that. If the government pays for a portion of your rent, the program can pay the additional portions not covered by the government subsidy.

Residents may be eligible if they earn 80% or less than the average household income. If residents were assisted last year, they are still eligible for this new program and can help cover rents that are still due from April 2020 through December 2021.

For example, a mother with two children who lives in Austin’s Rosewood neighborhood who made $54,500 a year but has lost her job due to the pandemic should apply for RENT assistance. She is currently unable to pay her landlord and may lose her apartment. She can visit http://AustinTexas.gov/RENT and submit her application.

Another example includes a couple living in Austin’s Riverside neighborhood. They made a combined $62,500 and renewed their lease, but due to the pandemic one of them lost their job and they are now struggling to make future rent payments. They will qualify for RENT assistance.

The RENT Assistance Program has established a priority point system to ensure those in greatest need are considered first.

 Renters in the first priority group will receive 3 points and will be considered first. That includes Renters need to meet two criteria: the renter must qualify for unemployment for at least 90 consecutive days before application and have zero or extremely low income (at or less than 30% of the area median income).

Renters in the 2nd priority group will receive 2 points and will be considered after the 1st group. This includes renters who qualify for two criteria: renters who qualify for unemployment for at least 90 consecutive days before application, and have low income (between 30% and 50% of the area median income).

Renters in the 3rd group will receive one point and will be considered after the 2nd group. These renters only have to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Renters who qualify for unemployment for at least 90 consecutive days before application
  •  Low income renters (at or less than 50% of the area median income)
  •  Renters who have experienced homelessness in the last 3 years
  • Renters who applied for the RENT Assistance program between August 2020 – December 2020 and did not receive rent help (this does not include inactive applications and applications that were denied.)

All other applications will be considered after those in the 3rd group.

With an easier application process, candidates do not need to submit documents with their application but will be requested if they are selected. Documents that will be needed include:

  • A Self-Certification form stating residents have been financially impacted by COVID-19. The form will be sent electronically requesting an e-signature.
  • Proof of current monthly income for all household members.
  • Proof that residents are at risk of experiencing homelessness or that housing is unstable, which may include past due rent or eviction notice.
  • Current lease showing address, name of the leaseholder, amount of monthly rent, and when the lease expires. The lease must be signed by both the resident(s) and the landlord.
  • A government-issued photo ID for the head of household. For example, a driver’s license, passport, or other photo ID.

A social security number and legal status are not required for this application. Eligible applicants will be randomly selected, and if the application is selected, the RENT Assistance program will contact the landlord and pay rent directly.

To learn more and apply please visit http://austintexas.gov/RENT. The portal will remain open through September 2021 or until all available funds have been committed. 

Venus Williams Pens Powerful Essay on Gender Equality, Announces Campaign to Advocate for Equal Pay

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Venus williams wearing a gray suit jacket smiling at the camera

By Katie Campione, People

Venus Williams is once again lending her voice to the movement for gender equality.

The five-time Wimbledon champion penned a moving essay for British Vogue on Monday about using her platform to advocate for equal pay.

In 2007, Williams became the first woman to receive equal prize money to her male counterparts. While men and women now get equal prize money at the majors and combined events, Williams said there is still a long way to go in the sport and across all industries to make sure women are valued in their fields.

“There is still a mindset that women’s tennis isn’t as valuable as men’s,” she wrote. As four-time Olympic gold medalist, Williams said “we must not allow [that mindset] to dictate society’s progress.”

“I firmly believe that sport mirrors life and life mirrors sport,” Williams wrote. “The lack of equality and equal opportunities in tennis is a symptom of the obstacles women face around the world.”

The tennis player added that, in the United States, women made 82.3 cents for every dollar men made in 2019. Inspired by that “shocking” statistic, Williams said she is initiating a campaign called #PrivilegeTax.

Ahead of Equal Pay Day on March 24, customers at participating brands can donate 19 cents at checkout to benefit the Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles organization. Brands partnering with Williams for the campaign include Nordstrom, Tracy Anderson, Tom Brady’s TB12, Carbon38, Credo Beauty and Happy Viking.

Click here to read the full article on People.

3 Investing Myths That Could Hurt Your Chances of Getting Rich

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We believe investing is a great way to build your wealth and help your money work for you. But buying into misinformation could cause you to make bad choices as an investor.

Here are three investing myths we think you should steer clear of at all costs.

  1. You shouldn’t start to invest until you have a lot of money

You may be under the impression that you need thousands of dollars to buy stocks or open a brokerage account. This isn’t true. Many accounts don’t impose minimums, so you can invest with as little as $100 if that’s all you have. Some individual stocks may be out of reach if you’re low on funds, but it’s easier than ever to buy fractional shares, which give you the option of buying a piece of a share of stock.

Prior to investing, we recommend you have a solid emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of living expenses tucked away in a savings account. Once you’re all set in that regard, there’s no need to put off investing just because you might feel limited financially.

  1. You should unload stocks when the market goes down

Your goal as an investor should be to make money. When stock values fluctuate, it’s natural to panic. But if you sell stocks when their value is down, you may guarantee losses in your portfolio. If you sit tight and wait for the stock market to recover—which it has a strong history of doing—then you might not encounter losses at all.

There is one exception—if you have one or two specific stocks in your portfolio that have been doing poorly, it could pay in the long-term to unload them at a loss. Then you can put your freed-up money into stocks with more growth potential. Otherwise, patience pays off, so leave your stocks alone when there is a market turndown.

  1. It’s impossible to beat the market on your own

There’s a reason so many people pay hefty fees to invest in actively managed mutual funds. Some of those funds do a great job of outperforming the broader market and delivering solid returns. After all, they’re run by professionals who get paid to pick stocks for a living.

But… if your goal is to beat the market, you don’t have to pay someone else to do it for you. With the right strategy and research, you have the potential to beat the market on your own.

You’re more likely to beat the market if you focus on stocks with strong growth potential, assemble a diverse investment mix, and hold your stocks for a long time.

But how do you identify stocks with strong growth potential?

We here at The Motley Fool have you covered. Our flagship investing service, Stock Advisor, provides members with two curated stock picks a month chosen by our founders. These seasoned investors have led members to stocks which have had incredible returns, including:

  • Amazon (up 21,252% since our first recommendation in 2002)
  • Netflix (up 29,954% since our first recommendation in 2003)
  • Nvidia (up 3,865% since our first recommendation in 2017)

But we don’t need to pick-and-choose from their recommendations—their average return is 895%, which is more than 5X the returns of the S&P 500!

But that’s not all.

Click the link and sign up, and you’ll get access to our report, “5 Stocks Under $50” absolutely free. It’s a report detailing 5 of our top stock picks under $50 and it’s our gift to you. Just enter your email address below, and we’ll send it right to your inbox. It’s time to start taking control of your investments.

You don’t need to be a seasoned investor with lots of money to do well in the stock market. You just need to commit to the right strategy and practice the art of keeping a clear head when things go south. Most importantly, don’t believe the above myths. They could stand in the way of meeting your goals and building the wealth you deserve.

Motley Fool Stock Advisor Presents 5 Stocks Under $49

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The past year has been one of the most difficult, trying, and consequential times in recent memory. A global pandemic, a prolonged lockdown, impeachment proceedings, widespread social change, and an election to boot! But if you’ve been sitting back and not acting, you’re missing out in more ways than one.

Because not only has 2020 been the year of overdue social change…but it’s been a year of potentially life-changing wealth creation for people like you and me.

And that’s because investing is the best way I know to generate meaningful wealth that could set you and your family up for life.

But…

How many people do you know that actually take advantage of this position? Do you?

Maybe it seems just too confusing or complicated? Maybe it might cost too much? Maybe you’re worried that you’ve simply missed the boat?

But I’m being honest when I say the best time to invest is today. And the second-best time to invest is tomorrow. Because it’s never too late!

And that’s where The Motley Fool comes in. For over 25 years, The Motley Fool has proven that you don’t have to be a money manager or a fat cat investment banker to rule the market.

To prove it, we want to debunk those ideas about the market we laid out earlier: that investing is just too complicated and that it might cost too much.

Misconception #1: Investing is just too complicated

You see, in our experience, this how these brokers and money managers keep people like you and me out of the market. They use these fancy and complex terms to intimidate the everyday investor into thinking that only they can do what they do.

But they’re wrong!

At the Motley Fool, we present all of the analysis and information in a straightforward, fun, and exciting way that has led to returns like

Amazon UP 11,578%

Netflix UP 13,193%

Marvel (now Walt Disney) UP 7,705%

Priceline (now Bookings Holdings) UP 7,435%

Misconception #2: Investing is just too expensive

Now, it’s true that some stocks might cost a lot to buy one share. One share of Amazon is over $2,000! But our job here at The Motley Fool is to find and analyze great companies no matter what the price! Which is why we’ve come up with five stocks you can buy TODAY for under $49! That’s right, these stocks come with our full stamp of approval and can be bought from your broker for under $49. Now I know I already talked about Amazon and Netflix, and this is no promise that these stocks under $49 will achieve the same amazing returns, but The Motley Fool recommended BOTH of these stocks when they were under $49, so we definitely think this current batch has room to run.

SO…

Debunking these two misconceptions leaves me with one question…what’s stopping you from investing right now??

And we’ve tried to make it even easier for you…

I already told you that we’ve recommended five stocks for under $49…but we want to make this even easier for readers of The Inclusion.

That’s because this special report “Five Stocks for Under $49” is absolutely FREE for Inclusion readers. Simply click on the link below to get taken to the report!

https://www.fool.com/ecap/stock-advisor

The Motley Fool

JPMorgan Chase Commits $30 Billion to Advance Racial Equity

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Today, JPMorgan Chase announced new long-term commitments to advance racial equity. The firm will harness its expertise in business, policy and philanthropy and commit an additional $30 billion over the next five years to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially the Black and Latinx communities.

Structural barriers in the U.S. have created profound racial inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The existing racial wealth gap puts a strain on families’ economic mobility and restricts the U.S. economy. Building on the firm’s existing investments, this new commitment will drive an inclusive economic recovery, support employees and break down barriers of systemic racism.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people. It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way.”

Over the next five years, the firm expects these new commitments, which include loans, equity and direct funding, to:

I. Promote and Expand Affordable Housing and Homeownership for Underserved Communities

A. Originate an additional 40,000 home purchase loans for Black and Latinx households. To do this, the firm is committing $8 billion in mortgages. Efforts include:

  • Improving key home lending products and offerings, including substantially increasing the Chase Homebuyer Grant in underserved communities.

B. Help an additional 20,000 Black and Latinx households achieve lower mortgage payments through refinancing loans. To do this, the firm is committing up to $4 billion in refinancing loans.

C. Finance an additional 100,000 affordable rental units. To do this, the firm will provide $14 billion in new loans, equity investments and other efforts to expand affordable housing in underserved communities. Efforts include:

  • Investing additional capital in vital community institutions and increasing funding for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low and moderate-income households nationwide.

II. Grow Black- and Latinx-owned Businesses

A. Provide an additional 15,000 loans to small businesses in majority-Black and -Latinx communities. To do this, the firm will deliver $2 billion in loans. Efforts include:

  • Launching a new program designed to help entrepreneurs in historically underserved areas access coaching, technical assistance and capital.
  • Accelerating a digital lending product to better support the needs of small Black- and Latinx-owned businesses seeking quick access to capital.

B. Spend an additional $750 million with Black and Latinx suppliers.

III. Improve Financial Health and Access to Banking in Black and Latinx Communities

A. Help one million people open low-cost checking or savings accounts. To do this, the firm commits to hiring 150 new community managers, opening new Community Center branches in underserved communities and materially increasing marketing spend to reach more customers who are currently underserved, unbanked or underbanked. Other efforts include:

  • Continuing to open 100 new branches in low-to-moderate income communities across the country as part of the firm’s market expansion initiative.
  • Building awareness and trust in Chase Secure Banking to meet the needs of Black and Latinx unbanked and underbanked households and expand access to traditional banking.

B. Invest up to $50 million in the form of capital and deposits in Black and Latinx-led Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI), and continue to mentor and advise select MDIs and CDFIs to help them achieve future success.

IV. Accelerate Investment in our Employees and Build a More Diverse and Inclusive Workforce

A. Continuing to build a more equitable and representative workforce and hold executives accountable by incorporating priorities and progress into year-end performance evaluations and compensation decisions for members of the Operating Committee and their direct reports.

B. Providing financial coaching services to the firm’s U.S. employees.

The firm will also provide $2 billion in philanthropic capital over the next five years to drive an inclusive economic recovery and support Black, Latinx and other underserved communities. This extends and increases the firm’s current five-year $1.75 billion philanthropic commitment made in 2018. It will also include an emphasis on supporting Black- and Latinx-led organizations.

A fact sheet detailing JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments is available here.

Holding Ourselves Accountable

Measuring impact and ensuring accountability is central to these new commitments. Progress will be tracked regularly and shared with senior leadership across the firm, as well as externally with the Chase Advisory Panel, to assess performance and hold the business accountable. These efforts will further allow for maximum impact and bring an enhanced equity lens to the firm’s business.

Comments on the Importance of Advancing Racial Equity

“We have a responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind,” said Brian Lamb, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase.The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world. We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

“To ensure the Latino community can thrive, we must work together to break down persistent obstacles to opportunity created by systemic racism,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO, UnidosUS. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help ensure that the American dream is accessible to more Latinos today, create a multiplier effect through generations, and lead to a stronger country with greater shared prosperity.”

“America’s racial wealth gap has been a persistent injustice, and it can no longer be tolerated as business as usual,” said Marc Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “I am heartened to see JPMorgan’s specific, measurable commitments that we believe will address decades of systemic racism toward Black communities – and will bolster the wellbeing of families across the country, as well as our collective economy. We are proud to work alongside JPMorgan Chase to make these changes and help craft conditions for lasting racial equity.”

“All Americans deserve equitable access to affordable housing and the physical, emotional and financial security it represents,” said Lisa Rice, CEO, National Fair Housing Alliance. “JPMorgan Chase’s new commitments will help make owning or renting a reality for more Black and Latinx families, whose housing access has been impeded by decades of systemic racism and are now disproportionately affected by the impact of COVID-19. Addressing the affordability crisis, now overlaid with the pandemic, will require many players on many fronts, and these commitments are concrete, meaningful steps in the right direction.”

“This moment requires leaders and their institutions to shake off the husks of complacency and to stand in transformative solidarity with the more than 100 million in America who face the burdens of a democracy and economy that does not yet allow them to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential,” said Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO, PolicyLink. “JPMorgan Chase is beginning the journey to answer this call. It’s targeted investments in black and brown communities, and its leadership advancing public policy that ensures all people in America participate in a just society, live in a healthy community of opportunity, and prosper in an equitable economy is the type of creative spark that will usher in America’s renewal.



About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

7 Myths About Saving for Retirement

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by Andrew J. Tudor, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company. It’s always a great time to reevaluate your financial goals and dreams for the future. Whether you are decades from retirement or only a few years away, many people have misconceptions about how achievable retirement is, how much they’ll need, and what resources are available to them as they prepare to retire. There is also the universal tension between living for now and saving for later. These factors create a lot of anxiety around preparing for a secure future.

To empower people to make the most of their financial futures, I have compiled several retirement myths below, as well as insight to dispel those myths:

Myth #1: It’s too late. I’m too old to save for retirement.
While you may not have started saving earlier in life, there are still opportunities to accumulate savings now. Take advantage of the catch-up contributions permitted by the IRS, and make sure you’re collecting all your company’s 401(k) plan matching contributions. Additionally, you can open an IRA or Roth IRA account to supplement your retirement savings.

Myth #2: Retirement means not working.
People are increasingly engaging in phased retirement, second careers or part-time work after their first career ends. One reason for this is that people are living longer, healthier lives. The longer you live after work, the larger your nest egg needs to be. Some are phasing their retirement for financial reasons, while others realize a second career or part-time work can make their golden years more fulfilling.

Myth #3: I won’t be able to rely on Social Security.
While the Social Security Administration projects that the trust fund for retirement benefits will be depleted by 2034, it believes it will be able to pay roughly 75 percent of benefits through at least 2092, and that’s if nothing happens to change the system. While Social Security is likely to continue to provide a base of income for many years, it’s a good idea to have supplementary income available in retirement. IRAs and 401(k)s are a good, tax-advantaged way to supplement social security income.

Myth #4: If I save enough to live to age 85, that should be enough.
It is true that expected lifespan is 75-85 years, but with advancements in medicine and health care, living to 100 is becoming more and more common. It’s essential your retirement plan provides income to support you until you die. It’s better to have more money at the end of your life than to have more life at the end of your money.

Myth #5: I’m too young to have to worry about saving for retirement.
You’re never too young to start saving for retirement. Starting early makes it possible to take advantage of compound interest which grows exponentially. For example, let’s say you have $5,000 saved by the time you’re 25. If you let that money compound at a 7 percent annual rate of return, it will be worth more than $81,000 by the time you retire at 65. That’s compound interest.

Myth #6: What’s in my retirement account is all mine.
While traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are critical tools in saving for retirement, it’s important to understand the tax implications of those accounts. A dollar in those accounts has never been taxed, but it will once it’s withdrawn in retirement. For example, at an effective tax rate of 15 percent, a withdrawal of $10,000 will only get you $8,500 after taxes. With Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s, taxes are paid as the money goes in, so you don’t owe any more when drawing on those funds.

Myth #7: In order to work with a financial advisor, I need to have extra money to invest.
A financial advisor can be a helpful partner for anyone, regardless of their financial situation, and his or her expertise goes beyond simply saving for retirement. An advisor can help you live the life you want now while still saving for later. Whether your financial goals include paying down debt, setting up a budget, opening a retirement investment account or recommending 401(k) investment options, an advisor can guide you through the process and help you make informed financial decisions.

JPMorgan Chase Announces Brian Lamb as Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion

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JPMorgan Chase recently announced that Brian Lamb has been named the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, a newly created position at the firm. Lamb, who will report to the firm’s Co-Presidents, will be responsible for executing a strategy that builds on the firm’s existing work and further incorporates a diversity lens into how the firm develops products and services, serves clients, helps communities and supports employees.

“Brian’s deep experience is precisely what we need to help our firm build on our diverse and inclusive culture, and drive it into every corner of our company,” said Gordon Smith, Co-President for JPMorgan Chase and CEO for Consumer & Community Banking. “Building a culture where all employees and customers are treated equally and feel welcome is a business imperative, and we’re fortunate to have Brian’s leadership in this critical area.”

This new role will strengthen and improve coordination of the firm’s existing strategy to support underserved communities as well as elevate the firm’s existing Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, including Advancing Black Pathways, Advancing Black Leaders, Military & Veterans Affairs, Women on the Move, the Office of Disability Inclusion, Global Supplier Diversity, and regional and line of business diversity functions. These focused efforts to-date have strengthened the firmwide culture in important and measurable ways.

The firm recently identified a number of areas across the company that, with enhanced, scaled or new programming or processes, would serve to ensure the firm’s culture is not one where racism can live or thrive. Those include enhancing the employee feedback process, making it easier for customers to access products and services in all branches, bolstering hiring to build a stronger pipeline of diverse talent, implementing additional required diversity and inclusion training firmwide, and increasing the diversity of businesses the firm partners with across the world.

“I’m excited to join JPMorgan Chase and help to further foster a culture where diversity and inclusion are a central and driving force,” said Brian Lamb, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase. “A company that is diverse and inclusive can better serve our customers, employees and communities – and that is good for business.”

“Applying a diversity lens to everything we do is critical to running a successful business,” said Daniel Pinto, Co-President for JPMorgan Chase and CEO, Corporate & Investment Bank. “We are more effective when we take a diverse and inclusive approach to our work, and with Brian on board, I believe we’ll be more successful all around.”

Lamb joins JPMorgan Chase from Fifth Third Bank where he served as Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking. His 13 year career there included time as Head of Wealth & Asset Management and Chief Corporate Responsibility & Reputation Officer, where he was responsible for building the comprehensive strategic framework for the Bank’s civic commitments, inclusion & diversity and reputation management.

Throughout his career he has remained passionate about diversity and inclusion. Notably, he partnered with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to launch a $30 billion community commitment that focused on access to capital for small businesses, first-time home ownership and educational opportunities for underserved communities and people of color.

He currently serves on the United Way Campaign Cabinet, Greater Cincinnati Urban League and is Vice Chair of the Florida Board of Governors. He previously served as Chair of the University of South Florida (USF) Board of Trustees where he also helped to lead a campaign to close the graduation rate achievement gap between women and people of color as compared to white students. While at USF, he mentored hundreds of women and minority students and established a scholarship fund for first-generation minority and female college students.

Brian also served as Chair of the Tampa Bay Partnership and held board positions with the Florida Bankers Association and Florida Council of 100.

Lamb holds a graduate degree from the Stonier Graduate Banking School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of South Florida.

To learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s Diversity and Inclusion efforts, please visit jpmorganchase.com/corporate/About-JPMC/diversity.htm.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.7 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at jpmorganchase.com.

5 Ways to Keep Your Finances in Check When Between Jobs

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Ashaunda Davis, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual

It’s likely at some point in time you will find yourself between jobs. Whether you were laid off or you willingly left your previous job, this is not an easy time for anyone. But know you are not alone – about four percent of the U.S. population is unemployed at any time, according to the Bureau of Labor Statics.

While you are gainfully employed, prepare for the unexpected. My mother always said, “There is nothing new under the sun, so be prepared when life throws you a curve ball.” Control what you can during employment including your mindset, spending and savings while keeping your resume updated.

When you find yourself between jobs, this period may be overwhelming. You can minimize and prevent future stress by following these recommendations I offer my clients.

1. Create a spending plan and stick to it
Spend some time figuring out how long you can go without an income by taking a look at where your finances currently stand. Budget monthly bills that you cannot forego like rent or a mortgage, utilities and car payments. Then, set a weekly allowance for necessities like groceries and gas, and stick to it.

2. Identify expenses you can cut
Separating wants from needs can help make sticking to a budget possible. Try cutting out luxury expenses like daily coffee runs, eating out and monthly subscriptions. Buying generic products, using coupons and rethinking how you spend time with friends and family can also help eliminate expenses. Although it’s important to maintain a social life and continue to do the things you enjoy, staying frugal now can help avoid putting yourself in debt.

3. Apply for unemployment
While filing for unemployment can be time consuming and tricky, unemployment checks can help make the time between jobs less stressful. If you were fired from your previous job under circumstances that were beyond your control, like a layoff, and you meet the state’s requirements for time worked, then you may be eligible to file for unemployment. Requirements vary from state to state, so be sure to check your state’s Department of Workforce website for all information.

4. Manage your own health insurance
Private health care plans can be expensive, but it’s important to be covered at all times because unexpected hospital visits are even more pricey than paying a monthly premium. Before leaving your job, talk to the HR department about how long you will be covered under your current health insurance plan. Some companies offer a grace period to allow time to find a new plan. If you have a spouse, look into joining his or her plan. Or, consider enrolling in the Affordable Care Act platform. Some states offer a special enrollment period for situations like this, so you don’t have to worry about waiting until the health insurance marketplace opens at the end of the year.

5. Consider a part-time job
Two words: side hustle. Do you have a talent or interest you have wanted to practice, but didn’t have time before? Now is a perfect time to freelance, work a part-time job in retail or sell your artwork or vintage cloths online. Not only can a part-time job provide a sense of purpose during the transition, but the extra cash will help prevent draining your bank account.

The Retirement Gap: Eight Ways African Americans Can Save for 65

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African American man and woman in retirement couple looking at each other on a deserted tropical beach

According to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, African American entrepreneurship and college graduation rates are both on the rise; however, even as these rates increase, people of color still have less saved for retirement than the rest of the population.

This stems from a number of factors, including the fact that many people of color work for small businesses, which often do not have the same competitive 401(k) plans offered by larger companies. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 5.6 million small businesses in the United States lack retirement savings plan options. These factors compound with issues such as the wealth gap and disparity in homeownership. In fact, between the ages of 47-64, white Americans had an average of $67,000 in home equity while people of color in this age range had zero.

Despite these obstacles, the best way to predict the future is to create it. The sooner people begin planning, the better. Saving enough by age 65 can seem daunting, but even with a late start, African Americans can still plan for and create the retirement they deserve.

  1. Evaluate risk tolerance and employer-sponsored retirement plans.

According to the Federal Reserve, the average African American’s 401(k) balance is $23,000. This partly stems from the fact that African Americans are less likely to invest in the stock market. While contributing to a 401(k) plan is an investment with risk attached, the benefits of participating can be very helpful, especially when the employer offers a contribution match. There can be uncertainty surrounding employer-sponsored plans, and seeking assistance from an objective financial professional is critical. Choosing suitable strategies that align with a family’s specific goals and needs is an imperative step toward bridging the retirement gap.

A financial advisor can help discern how contributions should be allocated, how much a participant should contribute and how various investment options may complement one another. After learning if their employer offers a matching benefit, participants should find out if there is a Roth 401(k) option and establish a personal budget so they can decide if contributing the maximum ($19,000 in 2019) is appropriate. It is also important to remember that people age 50 and older can take advantage of a catch-up provision (total contribution is up to $25,000 in 2019).

  1. Understand time horizon as it relates to different investment accounts.  

As investors prepare for retirement they should have a firm understanding of what their fixed and variable expenses will be. African American families have cultural norms that impact how wealth will be protected, distributed, where it has accumulated and therefore how it will be taxed. Without proper planning well before a participant retires, retirement security can be very difficult to achieve. Most plan participants want to live a similar lifestyle to the one they had before retirement, and understanding their time horizon is crucial in planning for life after 65.

  1. Allot for longevity with a distribution plan.

Another factor African Americans need to take into account is their longevity. According to the Social Security Administration, the average 65-year-old can expect to live another 19 to 21 years in retirement. African Americans are now living longer than ever before as well, with the CDC reporting, “black Americans who live to 65 may now expect to live longer than whites of the same age.”

As life expectancy rapidly increases, retirees now need to save for almost a quarter of their lifetime. This may lead African Americans to rethink the way they withdraw funds during their retirement. As such, creating a distribution plan is in the best interest of every African American saving for 65.

Retirees should typically begin by withdrawing from non-qualified taxable and tax-deferred accounts, while tax rates are lower. Then African Americans can move on to tax-free accounts to maximize the value of each of their retirement savings. Developing a diversified retirement account is only half of the work; a sound distribution plan will create the security retirees spend decades preparing for. Working with a trusted financial advisor can help navigate these decisions and create a plan tailored to each individual’s needs.

  1. Make saving for retirement a priority, even while paying back student loans.

Many African Americans in the workforce have student loan debt hanging over their heads and saving for retirement may seem out of reach. This issue can hinder younger people of color especially and make it difficult to save at all. The Federal Reserve found that African Americans have $19,000 on average in liquid assets by their 30s, compared to the $130,000 of the general population.

To best allocate their disposable income, African Americans should begin by writing out what they pay on student loans monthly and the amount they can realistically contribute to their retirement account per paycheck. Even a small percentage will make a huge difference down the road. Plan participants should write down each loan and the interest it is accruing, then prioritize paying off the loans with the highest interest rates first, finishing by paying off lower-interest accounts.

Retirement plans consist of automated contributions, meaning plan participants can budget as soon as they get their paycheck. African Americans who are sole proprietors or self-employed should set up an automatic withdrawal into a retirement account each month. The goal is to save 15-20 percent of one’s salary; if that seems unattainable, a financial advisor can help work up to that amount.

  1. Understand Social Security income.

According to an Associated Press poll, 38 percent of white Americans said they had sufficient money for retirement, compared to 20 percent of African Americans surveyed. Making matters worse, people of color are less likely to receive Social Security, with 62 percent of African Americans collecting Social Security benefits compared to 82 percent of white Americans.

Employers are required to pay half of their employees’ Social Security contribution and the other half is taken out in taxes. Self-employed African Americans should make sure they are contributing on their own behalf in order to have another stream of income during retirement. Within 10 years of retirement age, people can calculate what their Social Security checks will look like and budget ahead of time. The Social Security Administration offers this online calculator to estimate the amount people will receive upon retirement.

  1. Plan for long-term care.

Another important aspect of effective retirement planning for African Americans is preparing for and understanding how long-term care expenses will be paid. In the African American community, family members may be expected to leave careers to stay home with an elderly family member who requires assistance. These expenses can quickly deplete a retirement nest egg and investors should plan for this scenario.

A Northwestern Mutual survey found that 34 percent of current caregivers spend between 21 and 100 percent of their monthly budget on caregiving expenses. As health care costs continue to rise, African Americans should consider the expense of professional care services when saving.

  1. Allot for family costs.

More and more Americans are using retirement dollars to help pay for their children. A 2018 report found that 72 percent of Americans are willing to put their children’s interest ahead of their own; specifically, African American parents were even more likely to sacrifice savings for their kids. Balancing supporting children along with aging parents while nearing their own retirement can be a hurdle many African Americans face.

African Americans should decide the capacity they can help their children while still saving for retirement. Setting clear boundaries early on can help combat the issue later in life.

  1. Consider annuities and pensions.

Living longer than ever before, many African Americans will need more than the traditional 401(k) and social security income streams. While planning for 65, retirees should consider pensions and annuities that will provide steady paychecks throughout retirement. Purchasing either an income annuity or deferred annuity helps mitigate the risk of running out of money during retirement, while adding a dependable revenue stream. Because they generally come with guarantees market investments do not offer, annuities create a tax-deferred nest egg for retirees and their families.

Insulated from market volatility, annuities and pensions can provide peace of mind during longer retirements. African Americans can meet with a financial advisor to find the best annuity for their goals and should heavily research the company they would like to take the annuity from.

Author: Allan K. Bell, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company

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