WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
Almost every major corporation in the United States made sweeping claims about their commitment to racial equity in the wake of George Floyd. Five of the biggest banks — including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, and Wells Fargo pledged to provide billions of dollars to the cause.
Three years later, Representative Ayanna Pressley is asking the question we all want to know: What happened to all of that money? In a letter sent to the five major banking institutions on Wednesday, Pressley urged them for an update on their financial commitments.
However, Pressley’s letter requests a full audit of their racial equity spending and where they are in their commitments. Pressley the banks until October 23, 2023, to complete the request.
In her letter, Pressley also stressed the culpability of the major banks in fostering economic inequality.
“Since the founding of this country, the financial industry has benefitted greatly from systemic racism, and banks have been lead actors in the discrimination, exploitation, and degradation of Black communities in particular,” she wrote. “There is no denying that the banking system has historically entrenched disparities in our country, denying Black people opportunities to grow our wealth and achieve financial prosperity.”
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