Capital One is furthering its efforts to close gaps in equity and opportunity by way of a $200 million, five-year national commitment.
Through the launch of the Capital One Impact Initiative, the bank holding corporation aims to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility. According to a statement, the new initiative will serve as an extension of Capital One’s core mission—change banking for good—and other long-term philanthropic commitments.
In Dallas, that means working to advance racial equity, affordable housing, small business support, workforce development, and financial well-being. These are long-standing responsibilities Capital One has already taken on for the North Texas region, where it has a large presence at its base in Plano.
To further that pledge to the local community, Capital One is partnering with two Dallas organizations to bring the Impact Initiative to life here: Impact Ventures and Paul Quinn College.
“Capital One was very intentional in partnering with organizations that are breaking down the structural barriers to racial equity by driving economic growth and financial well-being,” Tiffany Cason, Capital One’s Dallas market president, said in a statement. “Through our commitments, we strive to elevate the discussion on racial justice, drive positive change and create a more vibrant community for all.”
The Dallas partnership is meant to serve as a “springboard for the initiative,” Capital One said, by addressing both racial equity and driving greater inclusion and representation.
With Impact Ventures, a minority-focused startup accelerator dedicated to creating more diverse and inclusive ecosystems, Capital One will serve as a partner for its Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Accelerator Fellowship.
For the 12-week, multi-track fellowship, Capital One will offer technical assistance, mentorship, leadership development, and access to capital services. The mission-driven accelerator looks to boost underrepresented startup entrepreneurs—women, minority, or social impact—who want to break into the tech industry.
Capital One will also support a virtual hackathon focused on social justice and racial equity.
“With the generous support of Capital One and its commitment to racial justice, we are able to provide sustainability and growth opportunities to Black and minority-owned startups and small businesses who have been hit the hardest by our current crisis,” Benjamin Vann, founder and CEO of Impact Ventures, said in a statement. “We are able to take intentional steps toward creating a more equitable and diverse economy where access, opportunity, and prosperity is shared for all.”
For Paul Quinn College, which is widely known as America’s first urban work college and one of its oldest historically Black colleges, Capital One will support the creation of the PQCx program.
PQCx will be an affordable certification program for adult learners interested in reskilling, according to a release. The short-term program—offered for three- and six-month windows—will serve thousands of the 40 million economically fragile Americans who are expected to be impacted by the current labor market shifts.
The goal is to “promote the economic growth of low-income workers,” according to Capital One.
Together with Capital One, Paul Quinn will be able to provide opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials without the burden of student loan debt.
It’s a similar model to Paul Quinn’s innovative urban work model, which is designed to eradicate poverty by combining affordable higher education with quality paid work experiences, year-round housing, and reduced debt. It equips students with skills that are applicable to today’s job market, and in turn, gives them greater access to post-grad opportunities.
“We continue to be appreciative of Capital One’s investment in Paul Quinn College and our goal for a more equitable society,” Dr. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, said in a statement. “PQCx is a special program that we expect will change the landscape of higher education. Because of the visionary nature of Capital One, they understand the importance of ensuring that programs like PQCx have the resources necessary to succeed.”
Capital One’s latest commitment is a follow-on to its recent $10 million investment to advance the cause of social justice for Black communities and its $50 million pledge to address economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The corporation said all initiatives are “closely tied to its core business activities,” which are to serve low- and moderate-income individuals across the U.S.
“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,” Andy Navarrete, Capital One’s executive vice president and head of External Affairs, said in a statement. “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.”
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