By Jess Washington
Wednesday, November 16th, Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank made a few stops through Dallas on his 2022 bus tour to meet with company members, clients and community partners. This was the third day and fourth city the CEO had touched. Making it clear, he and his team are laser-focused on the progress and success of the commitments they have made.
You’ve probably seen, heard or even benefited from these commitments without knowing it. And that’s because Chase is “checking all the boxes” where they can by applying their capital, data, expertise, and other resources to help address issues and promote long-term, innovative solutions for a more sustainable future. Advancing Black Pathways and Advancing Hispanics & Latinos are some of their more popular initiatives. But Chase is also taking on climate change with their Sustainable Development Target commitment and helping those with criminal backgrounds with the Second Chance Agenda.
Jamie Dimon’s first stop was for an invite-only lunch at the Warwick which was followed up with a fire-side chat. If you ever hear Mr. Dimon speak, you know you’re dealing with a straight shooter. During the Q&A, Mr. Harrison Blair, President of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, asked Mr. Dimon about Chase’s support of HBCU’s and their further commitments to support the graduates. It was endearing to hear Dimon state that although they’ve done good work – to the tune of a 5 year, 30 million dollar commitment – they could do more. He confessed that he didn’t know there were 107 HBCU’s in the US, and although Chase’s partnerships with HBCU’s has grown from 3 to 19, there’s still room for growth. It’s all about accountability for Dimon. Cutting a check is not enough, one must get their hands dirty to see real solutions and results.
The 2nd stop on the bus tour in Dallas was to the Chase Bank Community Center in Oak Cliff. This location in Dallas has existed for years as a branch but in 2021 received a renovation and a new purpose as the first of its kind Community Center, as part of its Advancing Black Pathways commitment. The energy was like a football pep-rally as the CEO stepped off the bus. Oak Cliff Community Manager, Terri Thomas greeted the crowd that consisted of 21 different DFW branch location members and Jamie Dimon soon followed to speak. He thanked the attendees for their passion and service, but most of all their leadership.
“It’s not just about JP Morgan, it’s about advancing the people around us…” – Jamie Dimon.
The final leg of the tour was a round table discussion with the CEO, to review the impact of Chase’s 2018 Commit Partnership. This was a $3 million donation to improve workforce development in Dallas County, through partnerships with local colleges. The conversation with Todd Williams, CEO of The Commit Partnership; Dr. Eric Ban, Executive Director of Economic Mobility Solutions; Dr. Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College and a former Paul Quinn student, Evenlyn Rasario, who also benefited from the Commit Partnership and now not only works for Chase, but assists with the Advancing Hispanics & Latinos. Jamie Dimon got to hear directly from the managers and benefactors on how this one-of-a-kind program literally changed the lives of not only the students but their families. Dr. Sorrell told Dimon that the support received from JP Morgan within the past few years revitalized a campus that was on “life-support” and was on the verge of closure. Rasario spoke of her experience of being the first in her family to graduate from college and also earning more income than the majority of her family members. Another Commit student and soon to be graduate from Southern Methodist University stated that he didn’t know he would attend college, but now aspires to be an aviator in the U.S. Navy. In all cases, the Commit Partnership proves to be not only necessary to provide opportunities for students in need, but also provides a blueprint for other financial institutions to connect with the youth within their communities in order to provide better futures and economic opportunities.
If there was a grade to give DFW JPMorgan Chase leaders, it would probably be an “A+” The whole day was not only a celebration, but proof that they believed in the company’s initiatives, they exceeded their expectations, and now target to do bigger and better. Their CEO, Jamie Dimon stated many times throughout the day that “if they can do more, they should” It’s very hard to fake that type of passion. Chase has worked diligently within the last few years to engage with the communities they serve, earning their trust and illustrating in a myriad of ways why they are a viable resource for everyone, everywhere.