Community Reinvestment

PNC Pledges Over $1 Billion To Fight Racism

Funds Also To Support Economic Empowerment Of Blacks And Low- And Moderate-Income Communities

Keith Griffin

June 23, 2020

PNC Bank Branch | Contributed Photo

The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., based in Pittsburgh, announced a commitment of more than $1 billion to combat systemic racism and support economic empowerment of Blacks and low- and moderate-income communities.

PNC's expanded commitment will provide more than $50 million in additional charitable support for national and local work that will help eliminate systemic racism and promote social justice; expand financial education and workforce development initiatives; and enhance low-income neighborhood revitalization and affordable housing, with funding allocation led by the PNC Foundation Board of Directors, PNC's Regional Presidents and Community Development Banking teams.

PNC's commitment also includes more than $1 billion in community development financing and capital for neighborhood revitalization, consumers and small businesses; enhancements to PNC's existing matching gift program to include support for qualifying non-profit organizations that support economic empowerment and social justice educational efforts; and a commitment to fully engage PNC employees in support of qualifying social justice and economic empowerment non-profits through volunteerism, with up to 40 hours paid time annually off to do so.

"We are living in one of the most important civil rights movements of our time. Each of us has a role to play in combatting racism and discrimination, and PNC is committed to driving real change in areas in which we can make the greatest impact," said William S. Demchak, chairman, president and CEO.

The company has earned an "Outstanding" rating under the Community Reinvestment Act since those examinations began more than 40 years ago, and has been nationally recognized for the impact of PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual multi-year initiative launched in 2004 that helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life, with a particular emphasis on helping children, families and others in diverse and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

"This is about much more than writing a check. This is about PNC doing what it does well – putting our capital to work in the communities we serve and providing innovation through products and services, with a special focus on helping African Americans buy homes, which we recognize is an important factor in wealth accumulation," Demchak said. "We are also going to make a positive impact through employee volunteerism. We've seen incredible success from our employee volunteerism through our Grow Up Great program, and that's what we're going to do here as well.

“Within our own company, we are having more candid, transparent and quite frankly, more difficult conversations about the challenges facing our black colleagues and customers and what we must do to change that," he said. "We have a responsibility to act – a responsibility to each other, our clients, communities and shareholders. We need to seize this moment and use our voices, our influence and our resources to address racism, discrimination, bigotry, bias and economic and health disparities that plague our country."

Demchak said this includes recognizing the role that democracy plays in the fight for social justice, citing PNC's contribution earlier this month of $200,000 to the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in support of the organization's work to ensure voting access for all communities, particularly Blacks and other voters of color; and PNC's role as a signatory to Time to Vote – a nonpartisan coalition of U.S. companies working to increase voter participation.

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