Capital One announced early this week the launch of the Capital One Impact Initiative, an initial $200 million, five-year national commitment to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. The Impact Initiative will build upon Capital One’s core mission to change banking for good and long-standing philanthropic commitments in New York City by advancing racial equity, affordable housing, small business support, workforce development and financial well-being.
As a springboard for the initiative, Capital One is addressing racial equity by committing to drive greater inclusion and representation. The Capital One Impact Initiative will come to life in New York City through partnerships with Exam Schools Partnership Initiative (ESPI), Legal Outreach and the Vera Institute of Justice.
“Capital One is proud to partner with these three organizations that are breaking down the structural barriers to racial equity by driving economic growth and financial well-being,” said Mike Slocum, Capital One President, Commercial Banking and Northeast Market President. “Through these commitments, we hope to create a more just and vibrant community in all five boroughs.”
New York City-based nonprofit Exam Schools Partnership Initiative (ESPI), aims to address inequality of educational opportunities for academically advanced students in racially isolated and low-income elementary and middle schools. Capital One will partner with ESPI to advance the City Smart scholars program to prepare high-performing Black and Latinx students for entry into competitive, highly selective specialized high schools. Capital One will also support ESPI’s 7th grade program focused on strengthening core areas that are critical to student success.
“Now entering our sixth year, ESPI: City Smart Scholars is working to change the narrative by changing the facts on the ground so that all of New York City’s top students can excel together in equitable and representative school communities,” said Andy McCord, co-founder and chair for outreach and programs, ESPI. “We are honored by Capital One’s validation as we build ESPI’s programs to their next sustainable and scalable stage.”
Additionally, Capital One is partnering with Legal Outreach to change the racial equity narrative by implementing educational and skill-development programs for low-income, urban high school youth. Legal Outreach is enhancing its Summer Law Institute with a more robust social justice focus and creating the Civic Engagement and Social Justice Leadership Council that equips students with the skills to advocate for change.
“Capital One’s support will jump start our efforts to expand our educational mission to amplify the voices of our students as they attain the knowledge, skills, and compassion needed to become leaders in their schools, communities, and, in the future, their professions,” said James B. O’Neal, co-founder & executive director, Legal Outreach.
Finally, Capital One will support The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera), whose mission is to build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety and strengthen communities. The organization aims to make New York a model for ending mass incarceration and the criminalization of Black people and communities of color. The organization uses research, policy, technical assistance, and partnerships with advocacy groups to shine a light on injustices in all aspects of the criminal justice system.
“Vera is grateful for Capital One’s dedication to equal justice. Their support will help us continue our work to transform the criminal legal system from policing, to bail and prosecution practices, improving life behind bars, expanding college programs for incarcerated students and providing universal representation to immigrants facing deportation. We’re honored to have Capital One join us in our commitment,” said Nicholas Turner, president and director of the Vera Institute of Justice.
These local commitments are in addition to Capital One’s most recent $10 million investment in national organizations advancing the cause of social justice for Black communities, and its $50 million commitment to address economic dislocation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Capital One’s philanthropic initiatives are closely tied to its core business activities serving low- and moderate-income individuals across the country. As the No. 1 community development (CD) lender nationally, Capital One has provided nearly $29 billion in CD loans since 2016. As part of that activity, through its Community Finance line of business, Capital One has also provided over $13 billion in construction financing across the nation since 2007 for over 140,000 affordable housing units, creating over 158,000 jobs.
“Twenty-five years ago, Capital One was founded on the belief that great talent, great analytics and great technology could revolutionize financial services and democratize credit,” said Andy Navarrete, Capital One Executive Vice President and Head of External Affairs. “With the COVID-19 pandemic and a heightened awakening on issues of racial injustice, we continue to embrace the idea that by advancing the economic and social opportunities in the communities we serve, we can help people thrive. That’s why the Impact Initiatives means so much to us – it’s core to who we are.”
To learn more about Capital One’s commitment visit https://www.capitalone.com/about/.