Soledad O’Brien Teams up with JP Morgan Chase for Impactful Health & Wellness Event

Patrick Washington Dallas Weekly News
In the wake of the 2020 social uprising in response to the now globally recognized George Floyd killing, many corporations and entities public messaged that change was necessary and specifically the engagement and support of the African American community. It is an established fact that many facets of American society and power systems purposely excluded Black Americans from achieving success and wealth through various programs and redlining efforts.One of the companies to pledge support and correction to the injustice was JPMorgan Chase. As the largest commercial bank, JPMorgan Chase pledged billions to the cause. That has manifested in investment into Black owned companies and marketing with Black owned media. The latest effort JPMorgan Chase is hosting a full day of conversations and informational sessions to support financial health education, wealth-building, and financial inclusion for Dallas’ Black and Hispanic communities The Summit will take place at Gilley’s South Side Event Center on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 11a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and one of the invited speakers include Is Soledad O’Brien, recognized journalist, CEO of SO’B Productions, Producer and Philanthropist.

O’Brien sat with the Dallas Weekly to discuss the potential impacts and value of this event and its subsequent activity. As an advisor to the Advancing Black and Hispanic Pathways Summit O’Brien made sure that is not and will not be lip service without action.

“We are going to be very intentional, it is called Advancing Black Pathways, right? It is not called ‘making everybody more solvent.’ We must figure out how to improve outcomes for [Black] people when it comes to wealth” O’Brien says, “What I have liked about being an advisor to Advancing Black Pathways… is that it is strategic, it is tactical, it means they are focusing on education. Literally how do you get money into the hands of entrepreneurs? How do you literally specifically make those changes? Which I have always appreciated.”

In addition, the Advancing Black and Hispanic Wealth Summit will feature panel discussions with various celebrity and industry experts, including interactive workshops focused on financial wellness, money saving tips, navigating the real estate market and homeownership, entrepreneurship, and wealth generation.

“It is about focusing on generational wealth building. Where do you find generational wealth? Well, you have to give them access to capital. You have to make sure once they access, they have access to information so their companies can be successful. You must make sure there is money in the education, so people are not coming out of college in a ton of debt, and you must make sure you give people access to financial literacy information.” O’Brien says, “Where we have the most wealth is in our homes. We know that’s where people pass along wealth to their kids. That is how you build generational wealth […] How do you navigate real estate, literally, how do you save money, literally, how do you think about home ownership, literally, how do you think about entrepreneurship literally and specifically.”

The focused effort is the plan for JPMorgan Chase. The very “bankery” approach is the driving force. It is a detail-oriented plan with follow up activity for ensured success. As a part of the summit, Chase bankers will host breakout sessions and one-on-one meetings with attendees to discuss their own financial health goals. The Advancing Black and Hispanic Wealth Summit is a collaboration between Chase local leaders, Advancing Black Pathways and Advancing Hispanic and Latinos, the firm’s two diversity, equity and inclusion centers focused on helping the Black, Hispanic and Latino community chart stronger paths towards economic success and empowerment.
“There are so many important conversations around financial freedom, entrepreneurship, wealth, and legacy building, many of which I cover on my radio show Everyday Wealth, but too often Black and Hispanic audiences are left out. I am honored to join JPMorgan Chase in centering communities of color around creating generational wealth,” said Soledad O’Brien.

Soledad has done stories on red lining and even reported on the Southern Dallas Community. When talking about the correction of the historic and systemic injustice, she understands and believes Chase understands that there cannot be just a start from scratch approach. There must be clean up first. When a community has had to adjust to oppression, the official rules of how to play the game are not used and become the standard practice of business owners who historically have been denied the opportunities to grow. So, in an effort to right the wrongs, it must be understood that concessions or “outside-the-box” thinking must be applied.

JPMorgan Chase is expressing they have a clear eye view of the challenges ahead. This effort is not a two year or five-year plan. The plan cannot be that simple when you are talking about generational injustice. When speaking to Soledad about the generational struggle she recalled a well-known story here in north Texas about Shingle Mountain. This is the story of Marsha Jackson’s quarter century fight to rid her community of the toxic mountain of roofing waste, just recently came to an end more or less in Jackson’s favor. O’Brien uses the story as a reference of the time it takes to correct injustice in a meaningful way, and emphasizes that that ideology, of long-term investment, is the strategy of JPMorgan Chase.

“It takes a long time, and it requires capital. It requires an organization to say we are going to put a lot of money into educating people, into funding businesses, into making sure we are successful. I have been really impressed because JPMorgan Chase is bringing both the conversation and also the capitalization. Bringing money into the community to really help entrepreneurs. Not just say ‘hey we’re here to support you,’ but also here is the financial wherewithal to back up the information we are giving you. We know if it is just information and not funding, it is not helpful if you are not backed up by the money.” O’Brien stated.

JPMorgan Chase is presenting this opportunity to the public for the goals of increasing the diversity pool in the business community, and to begin to shift the relationship between the banking world and communities who have been hurt generationally and historically. The sold-out Summit will be held at Gilley’s on Botham Jean Blvd.

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