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The "Advancing Black Wealth Tour" stopped in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 8. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch.
The "Advancing Black Wealth Tour" stopped in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 8. Photo Courtesy of Marcus Branch.

The Advancing Black Wealth Tour stops in Philadelphia

This Saturday marked the final stop of JPMorgan Chase’s inaugural event to provide financial tools and support to Black communities nationwide.

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On Saturday, October 8, JP Morgan Chase took part in the final stop of its national “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” right here in the City of Brotherly Love.

More than 200 people packed the room into The Arts Ballroom in Center City Philadelphia. 

The “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” is an initiative launched by JPMorgan Chase to provide financial health education, wealth-building seminars, and other vital financial insights to Black communities across the country. 

“Over the past several months, we’ve had the opportunity to connect, to educate and provide resources around financial health and wealth building in Black and Brown communities,” said Taylor Alston, head of social media for JPMorgan Wealth Management. 

The “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” also had stops in Los Angeles, Dallas, and New Orleans before making its way to Philadelphia. 

The event features a number of prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as JPMorgan Chase executives, and is a part of JPMorgan Chase’s $30 billion racial equity commitment

Carolina Jannicelli, Managing Director and Head of Community Impact at JPMorgan Chase, also provided some remarks, detailing goals, the significance of this commitment, and her personal commitment to her role. 

She noted that the mission of her and her team is to “integrate the lens of racial equity into how we run the company.”

This is done with the goal of creating equitable outcomes and making finance and banking more inclusive for individuals from all backgrounds. 

“That commitment is a way to hold ourselves accountable, to step up and do more to support the Black community in the United States,” said Jannicelli. 

She noted that the support is in the form of increasing lending “to preserve and build more affordable housing,” to help increase homeownership and support Black, Latino and Hispanic businesses, increasing access to banking by opening more branches in traditionally undeserved neighborhoods, and providing financial health education and resources.

“Because information is power,” said Jannicelli. 

On a more personal note, Jannicelli is passionate about her work because of her own backstory.

Born in Nicaragua’s capital city, she is the child of small business owners who owned a shoe store. Jannicelli’s first job was at that shoe store, putting stickers on the back of the shoes, denoting its size.

As a result of the civil war in Nicaragua, Jannicell’s parents had to leave everything, move to Costa Rica and start from scratch. 

“I saw my parents struggle to rebuild their lives [and] support four kids, and their task was 10 times harder than it had to be because they didn’t have access to information.” said Jannicelli.

When Jannicelli thinks about closing the wealth gap, to her it is synonymous with also closing the information and resources gaps, as well. 

Justin Grant, executive director of community development for Advancing Black Pathways, shared that throughout his career, he has grown tired of talking about the wealth gap. However, he is eager to continue finding ways to help close it.

“We have to be mindful of the past, but we [also] have to be driven forward with hope,” he said. 

Moving forward with an eye toward wealth creation is a key approach for JPMorgan Chase.

Racquel Oden, Managing Director and head of Consumer Bank Network Expansion at JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced during the event a commitment to building 30 more branches in different parts of the city, bringing the total to 55 branches. 

“I want to be intentional about where my commitment is to building these branches, and it will be in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods,” she said. 

She added that the reason is because those are the communities that have historically lacked access to banks.

In addition, next month JPMorgan Chase will be opening a community branch on 52nd & Ludlow Streets with a focus on financial literacy and education.

“Consider this event, a kickoff of us saying, ‘We want you to get to know us, know what we're about, and know what we're committed to,’” said Oden. 

Through a variety of engaging panel discussions and interactive workshops, attendees were able to leave with valuable information, including financial wellness, best steps to saving money, navigating the real estate market and homeownership, entrepreneurship and wealth generation. 

They were also afforded the opportunity to speak directly with the speakers and JPMorgan representatives. 

Some of the notable speakers who took part in the Philadelphia stop of the “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” include MC Lyte, rapper, TV producer, DJ and philanthropist; Dr. Lynn Richardson, entertainment executive and celebrity financial expert; Ian Dunlap, CEO & founder of Red Panda Academy; and Milan Rouge, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, real estate investor and CEO & founder of Milano Di Rouge. 

Stay more for follow up coverage of the “Advancing Black Wealth Tour” in Philadelphia.

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