Building Opportunity

Wells Fargo proudly works with organizations like the NAACP and National Urban League to increase opportunity for Black families.

Black family standing in front of their business

Historically, the Black family has stood for pride, strength and resilience. Never have these attributes been put to the test more than in the wake of social and political unrest and a devastating pandemic. The challenges are real and Wells Fargo is working with organizations to increase economic opportunity in the Black community starting with home and job security.

In response to Covid-19, the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) developed the Empowering Community program with help from a $1.35M grant from Wells Fargo. This grant helps to ensure that families in need have critical support related to health, economic security, education and safe environments. The NAACP’s efforts are centered in three areas: amplifying the voice of the community, empowering people with information and increasing digital access by developing new infrastructure.

We’re partnering with the NAACP to:

  • Nurture and support local residents, representing diverse interests, to become effective leaders able to promote wellbeing in their communities.
  • Support the #WeAreDoneDying campaign focused on how communities of color are faring in health, education, economic opportunity, and criminal justice during the pandemic.
  • Humanize COVID-related issues through stories from the community, amplifying the voices of local residents.

In addition, we also work with the National Urban League (NUL)to provide more opportunities for Black families to stay in their homes or secure housing, especially during this pandemic.

As Covid began taking its toll on communities of color, NUL quickly responded with foreclosure and rental counseling with the support of Wells Fargo funding. As a result, between April 1 – October 31, 2020, NUL housing counselors helped:

  • Stabilize housing for 3,178 renters.
  • Assist 764 homeowners to stay in their homes.
  • Increase the number of homeless or potentially homeless households obtain temporary or permanent housing by 80%.

Understanding Black-owned businesses are the cornerstones of the community, we also helped to support NUL’s Entrepreneurship Center Program which focuses on increasing growth for entrepreneurs. In the face of COVID-19, this program has proven to be a crucial resource for the Black business community. Results through mid- December 2020 show that NUL’s 12 Entrepreneurship Centers (ECs):

  • Served approximately 20,300 participants through counseling and training activities.
  • Secured $102.7 million in financing and contracting opportunities.
  • Saved or created over 47,600 full and part-time jobs.

In addition to the community NUL served, funding also supported NUL housing counselors who were often overwhelmed by stress and trauma during the counseling process. In order to support them during this pandemic, counselors were trained by a mental health first responder who provided insights on the signs of stressors and offered coping strategies to help team members and their clients.

Working with organizations like the NAACP and National Urban League helps us support Black families and small businesses by creating more access to economic opportunities. Opening more pathways to financial stability in the Black community helps to ensure it remains a source of creativity, innovation and pride for generations.

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