Monique Baptiste
CRM Aug 2018_Chance and Linda

Guest post by Monique Baptiste, Vice President, Jobs & Skills, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Workforce Matters Steering Committee member and Linda M. Rodríguez, Executive Director, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Here are two intertwined realities: Black and Latina women have long been financial backbones of their households and communities– as entrepreneurs, business owners, consumers and breadwinners. Yet, at the same time, Black and Latina women contend with overlapping race and gender pay and wealth gaps and disproportionately experience barriers to opportunity that are detrimental to their families, communities, cities and the overall economy.

While the pandemic highlighted in stark contrast the economic disparities between Black and Latina women and their white counterparts in America, this dynamic is not new. It is a consequence of economic, social, and civic systems and institutions that have overlooked, excluded or discriminated against Black and Latina women. We also know that people face intersectional realities, and Black and Latina women who may also be immigrants, involved with the criminal justice system, LGBTQIA+ or gender expansive people, and/or women with disabilities may face compounded negative trends.

To support thriving, inclusive economies, we must collectively address these disparities comprehensively, with urgency and creativity.

Where do we go from here

JPMorgan Chase is transforming its AdvancingCities Challenge, an annual competition that supports non-profit innovation and systemic change in U.S. cities, with a new focus: advancing the economic progress of Black and Latina women by addressing systemic drivers of the racial and gender wealth gaps.

The hopeful news is that there is critical work already underway and bearing fruit in this mission to build an equitable economy and inclusive recovery where Black and Latina women thrive. JPMorgan Chase comes to the table in the spirit of partnership to help build on these efforts and accelerate progress.

To that end, we are sharing some of the lessons we’ve learned, integrated into our approach and hope will benefit this community’s work as well, as we move towards this crucial goal:

Be explicit about who we are centering in the work—and what we are addressing.

At JPMorgan Chase, we believe that a sustained recovery and equitable economy should center the specific priorities of Black and Latina women, especially given their role in families and cities. This includes supporting urgent, immediate needs today –  and also shifting the underlying philanthropic, policy, programmatic, and institutional practices and norms that have long inhibited the economic mobility of Black and Latina women. 

Prioritize solutions developed, led, and implemented by the communities being served.

We will rely on experts from around the country who have deep, broad and first-hand insights and bold ideas to catalyze change for women and communities of color.  This Challenge will prioritize solutions from Black and/or Latina women who can draw on their own experiences, expertise and visions for change.

We have specific criteria for this: nonprofits with Black or Latina women in leadership; partnering with or allocating funding to organizations with Black or Latina women in leadership; or demonstrating commitment to substantively engaging and sharing resources with community-based organizations with robust experience serving Black or Latina women.

We’ve seen success before with this community-driven approach. To date, the AdvancingCities Challenge has awarded more than $50 million to 13 communities working to address complex issues at the root of economic inequality. Previous winners have identified and honed in on key factors essential to creating lasting change including collaboration among diverse stakeholders, programmatic innovation and community-driven design. Collectively, these organizations are implementing multifaceted approaches to provide holistic support to individuals and communities – and have begun expanding services to hundreds more individuals.

Here’s one example: a collaborative of non-profit financing and housing developers in Portland, OR are working with long‐time residents and small businesses— in particular those owned by Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian and Pacific Islanders – on anti-displacement strategies that will help small businesses and homeowners build wealth and stay in their neighborhoods.

Seek collaboration with a diverse set of actors that share a systems change goal & objectives.

We have learned that a key driver for lasting change to entrenched and unbalanced systems crucially rests on dedicated collaboration with a diverse set of actors focused on a common goal and objectives. This Challenge will foster collaboration not just between private, public and nonprofit leaders—but also among nonprofits themselves, leveraging and scaling great work for the common cause.

The work to advance racial equity must be multi-faceted and requires many partners across the private, public and community sectors, collaborating together with steadfast commitment. We are here to do our part.

This Challenge is one element of JPMorgan Chase's $30 billion commitment to provide economic opportunity to underserved communities, especially Black and Latinx communities in the United States.

How you can help

Please help us spread the word to partners, grantees and networks across the country so we can surface and invest in the best ideas. This year’s AdvancingCities Challenge will provide three-year grants of up to $5 million and we are accepting applications now through June 28, 2021

We believe there is an urgent need to secure the success of Black and Latina women. An inclusive economy offering equitable access to opportunity is stronger, more resilient, and ultimately benefits everyone.