Alabama-based Regions Bank exceeds goal of investing in programs that support racial equity and economic empowerment

Birmingham-based Regions Bank and the nonprofit Regions Foundation have exceeded their two-year, $ 12 million commitment to advance programs and initiatives that promote racial equity and the economic empowerment of communities in color. Until November, the bank and the foundation had allocated a total of $ 14.6 million, officials said in a press release. They said the figure will continue to rise as additional investments are made.

“At the Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation, our goal is to continually make meaningful progress to advance and accelerate progress towards greater racial equity and inclusion,” said John Turner, President and CEO of Regions Financial Corp., the parent company of Regions Bank. .

“These community investments and partnerships are designed to fill a gap in access to growth capital, health resources, housing, education and workforce development opportunities,” said Turner . “Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are both committed to making a bold difference by creating more equitable outcomes and effecting meaningful change in the communities we serve. “

The Fondation des Régions is a non-profit initiative mainly financed by the Banque des Régions. Grants, direct capital investments, and community partnerships benefit more than 270 organizations supported by the bank and the foundation as part of their commitment to advance racial equity and economic empowerment. Organizations operate in 13 states across the Regions Bank footprint in the Southeast, Midwest and Texas.

Leroy Abrahams, president of the Foundation of the Regions and head of community affairs at the Bank of the Regions, said the organizations updated their target in 2018 to “prioritize more inclusive prosperity”.

“Then in 2020 our world changed like never before with the impact of the pandemic as well as a series of racial injustices,” Abrahams said. “The Banque des Régions and the Fondation des Régions have recognized that they both have the opportunity to do more. And if the commitment made in 2020 has been exceeded, the work in progress will continue. The bank and the foundation are constantly developing innovative and impactful ways to level the playing field and support more opportunities for more people to succeed. “

The racial equity commitment announced in 2020 focuses on six strategic pillars that directly affect communities with targeted results to track and measure progress, regional officials said. The strategic pillars are:

  • Support community development financial institutions (CDFI) and minority depository institutions (MDI) – CDFIs and MDIs promote the economic viability of underserved communities by providing additional access to essential financial products and services. Among those receiving investments in Alabama is the Mobile-based Commonwealth National Bank.
  • Advance the development of minority businesses – Among the investments in Alabama is a microcredit project supported by the Birmingham-based Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, which helps Hispanic small business owners access unconventional loans to open or grow their businesses.
  • Increase home ownership for minorities
  • Bridging the digital divide
  • Promote the educational attainment and career success of people of color – Alabama projects receiving support include Build UP, a workforce-driven high school in Birmingham that teaches students academic skills and in-demand workforce skills through education. ‘practical learning.
  • Promote racial understanding

“Promoting racial equity and achieving inclusive prosperity are two of the most effective ways for the Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation to make a lasting difference,” said Abrahams. “Substantial progress has been made. And even more progress will be made as the bank and foundation work closely with community partners to reach more people. “

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