Celebrating Black History Month in 2022

Capital One works year-round to celebrate and honor Black voices and Black associates in our communities

Capital One recognizes the longstanding contributions of communities of color and continues to do our part to ensure a more equitable society that celebrates the achievements of the Black community. There’s no perfect phrase or summation that can define all that “Black Is” to Capital One. But we’re working towards our mission to Change Banking for Good by celebrating the resilience, persistence, and progress of this community and continuing to invest in advancing racial equity. 

Within our company, we’re providing space for Black voices and creating more leadership opportunities for Black associates. Beyond our walls, we’re amplifying the innovation, achievement and success of our Black associates.

“Creating and sustaining momentum to close longstanding racial equity gaps lies at the heart of our Mission to Change Banking for Good,” said Kim Allman, National Racial Equity and Social Justice Lead and Senior Director, Community Impact & Investment at Capital One. “As we continue to look at our investments, we hope to help level the playing field and accelerate opportunities for everyone.”

For us, “Black Is” is a celebration of our Black associates and their invaluable contributions as professionals and community advocates. It also acknowledges the inequities, challenges and discrimination our associates and their loved ones face on a daily basis. “Black Is” isn’t just a Black History Month campaign that fades to the background once the month of February is over. It’s a 24/7 effort to create more equitable opportunities for our Black associates, as well as to provide spaces for their voices to be heard and acted upon.

Bridging gaps and creating opportunity 

Capital One is building on our initial $10 million pledge and Impact Initiative—a $200 million multi-year commitment to support growth in underserved communities and promote socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. As part of the next wave of Impact Initiative grants, Capital One continues to address structural barriers to racial equity by investing an additional $10 million in existing and new partners that meet the most pressing needs in the lives of underrepresented communities, including: 

  • Capacity building: African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs; National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB); Prosperity Now

    • Increasing organizational capacity by providing organizations with resources and tools to improve their ability to achieve their mission 

  • Criminal justice: Vera Institute of Justice

    • Investing in programs that provide support and resources to individuals and communities impacted by incarceration

  • Education (HBCU/HSI Support): Braven; Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

    • Partnering with HBCUs and HSIs to increase post-secondary attainment and career transition to quality employment and driving inclusive mobility through the education-to-career pipeline 

  • Financial well-being: finEQUITY

    • Helping people improve their financial health by supporting programs and products that empower people to save money, build credit, manage debt, and access banking products

  • Affordable Housing: Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

    • Building capacity in the affordable housing ecosystem, promoting housing stability as a foundation for wellbeing and opportunity, improving availability of affordable housing and driving resident success for low income families

  • Small business support: Black Girl Ventures; Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

    • Helping people leverage small business ownership as a pathway to financial success and prioritizing support for microbusinesses and providing targeted support for mission-aligned growth businesses (startups designed to innovate + scale)

  • Workforce development: Jobs for the Future (JFF)

    • Connecting underrepresented talent with jobs that support financial success and driving inclusive pathways to job attainment to support long term financial stability 

Supporting Black-Owned businesses

Roughly 53% of Black-owned businesses saw a drop in revenue by at least half during the peak of the pandemic. To address the lack of access to capital and resources, Capital One is partnering with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) to launch the Capital One Business grant program, which aims to support Black-owned businesses in building resilient futures. This program will award $10,000 grants to Black-owned businesses. In addition, all business owners can access free resources to help move their business forward through Capital One’s Business Hub, which features insights and actionable advice from real business owners.

“The combination of preexisting systemic inequities and pandemic-related setbacks has created a uniquely challenging environment for Black business owners to navigate,” said Connie Evans, AEO President and CEO. “Our partnership with Capital One is vital to helping sustain the success of Black-owned businesses for the long term. And collaborative initiatives like the grant program can help create the on-ramp needed to tap into long-term equitable access to capital, digital tools and educational resources.”

Accelerating our commitment to HBCUs

Additionally, as part of our ongoing support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Capital One donated its facility at the Wilmington Riverfront, valued at $4.7 million, to Delaware State University, Delaware’s only HBCU. The 35,000-square-foot facility will allow the university to expand its offerings in the heart of the state's metropolitan core, after nearly a decade of operating through its satellite campus on Kirkwood Highway.

Capital One plans to host a special ribbon cutting and building tour to mark the return of the university to Wilmington and celebrate the broader partnership that will include expanded recruitment opportunities, specialty programs and first generation support

Our partnership with Delaware State University is a natural extension of our commitments to growing relationships, investment and campus presence at HBCUs. We also provided $1 million total grant funding to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the United Negro College Fund and have a three-year commitment to support Braven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the education-to-employment gap in higher education.

As we continue to strive towards an equitable pathway, there’s still awareness to be raised, policy to be changed and equality to be achieved. But when we come together as a community, our voices are more powerful, celebrations are more memorable and our impact more lasting. 

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