JPMorgan is donating $US1 million to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in light of the events in Charlottesville, Virginia the weekend before last.
Peter Scher, head of corporate responsibility at the US bank, sent a memo to staff this morning outlining the bank’s response to the events, saying what happened in Charlottesville had “increased the urgency to confront hate, intolerance and discrimination wherever it exists.”
In September, the bank will launch a two-for-one match program for employee donations to a “wide range of human and civil rights organisations,” up to $US1 million, according to Scher.
The memo comes hot on the heels of another memo, sent last week by CEO Jamie Dimon, addressing President Donald Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I strongly disagree with President Trump’s reaction to the events that took place in Charlottesville over the past several days,” Dimon said. “Racism, intolerance and violence are always wrong.”
Here’s the memo:
Message from Peter Scher, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Chairman, Washington, D.C. Region
The events in Charlottesville have increased the urgency to confront hate, intolerance and discrimination wherever it exists. While there are no simple answers, it is vital that we recommit ourselves to the principles of equality, respect and acceptance. The JPMorgan Chase community stands in support of all of those who reject racism and violence, and we must strive to create positive change from these dark events.
As Jamie stated in his message last week, we immediately engaged with our community and nonprofit partners to identify the appropriate way to be part of the healing in Charlottesville. We will provide $US50,000 to support the work of the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation to assist in their immediate and longer-term reconciliation efforts.
It is clear, however, that the events of the past week reflect deep divisions across our country and compel us to redouble our efforts. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” But it will not bend on its own.
So today, JPMorgan Chase is pledging $US1 million, to be split between the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to further their work in tracking, exposing and fighting hate groups and other extremist organisations across the country. These organisations were born in different eras — the ADL in 1913 to confront anti-Semitism and the SPLC in the 1960s in response to enduring injustice to African Americans — and both have evolved over the decades into the nation’s preeminent institutions fighting extremism and discrimination of all kinds.
While these steps were prompted by recent events, I want to emphasise that the focus of our longstanding philanthropic work around the world is to address inequality by boosting economic opportunity for those who have been left behind. We invest nearly $US250 million annually in programs to support workforce readiness, access to capital for minority small business owners, summer jobs for underprivileged young people, financial tools to help low-income families, and nonprofits working to address the racial wealth divide. We remain deeply committed to these efforts.
In the last few days, we have been inspired that so many of you want to be part of the response. In September, we will launch a special campaign to match two-for-one our employees’ donations to a wide range of human and civil rights organisations, up to an additional $US1 million. We will work with our Business Resource Groups and other internal stakeholders to identify respected organisations that fight many kinds of discrimination in our diverse society.
The dedication, commitment and compassion of the JPMorgan Chase community are extraordinary. As Elie Wiesel said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” We won’t be indifferent to the forces that would tear our country apart. The ties that bind us are too strong.