It was a bold commitment, a first of its type for Regions Bank and the nonprofit Regions Foundation. While the bank has long been dedicated to fostering more inclusive prosperity, in 2020, the bank and foundation pledged a collective $12 million specifically for the purpose of advancing programs and initiatives that promote racial equity and economic inclusion for communities and people of color.
The commitment was that the investment would be made over the course of 24 months; however, only 15 months into that commitment, Regions Bank and Regions Foundation have nearly reached their combined $12 million goal. To date, Regions Bank and Regions Foundation have together allocated nearly $11 million, collectively advancing several businesses and community partnerships aligned with the goal of creating inclusive prosperity.
Mending the tattered social fabric in the United States is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation take a strategic approach toward allocating resources that remove barriers to success and create a level playing field for more people to succeed. This includes addressing underlying issues preventing the achievement of equitable growth and inclusion and addressing economic and social divisions that drove the challenges that communities and people of color face. Organizations receiving funding from the $12 million commitment from the bank and foundation are taking bold actions to advance racial equity while creating more inclusive opportunities for success. Consider these examples:
$1,000,000 from the Regions Foundation for the National Urban League: Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation have had the privilege of working with the National Urban League for many years to support the incredible work the organization is doing to uplift and empower African Americans and other underserved groups,” Abrahams said. “Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are committed to inclusive growth because we know our business is only as successful as the communities we serve – that when they succeed, Regions Bank and the Region Foundation succeed. But more than that, this is about doing what is right. This is about providing access and opportunities and making success possible for all.”
We are committed to inclusive growth because we know our business is only as successful as the communities we serve – that when they succeed, we succeed.
Leroy Abrahams, head of Community Affairs, Regions Bank
Leroy Abrahams, head of Community Affairs for Regions Bank and President of the Regions Foundation, is set to introduce “Strategize to Win,” a masterclass session designed to help new and veteran entrepreneurs find opportunities and leverage their strengths for long-term success.
Regions Bank is a longtime supporter of The National Urban League and is, once again, sponsoring this year’s annual conference. The National Urban League is dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice for African Americans and underserved residents. The Regions Foundation is now providing financial support for entrepreneurship programs in several cities.
$250,000 from Regions Bank for Bronze Valley: Bronze Valley is a community development financial institution (CDFI) that works to create opportunities and support high-growth, innovative and technology-enabled companies. Specifically, Bronze Valley works with businesses created by diverse and underrepresented founders. The CDFI is committed to including diversity in its economic development strategy.
The investment from Regions Bank is opening the door for additional funding for the growth of minority-owned businesses as Bronze Valley expands its portfolio. Importantly, that growth is not just because of Regions Bank’s investment – but also because of more investments that are now coming in.
“Regions is the bellwether in the market for large regional banks, and when you are able to engage the support of an institution like Regions, it gets the attention of others,” said Neil Wright, Bronze Valley President and CEO. “We are on the radar of a host of other financial institutions that invest directly into CDFIs. Through the collaboration with Regions Bank, it has sent a positive message to other organizations that we worthy of attention.”
$1,250,000 from the Regions Foundation for HBCU support: “The Regions Foundation is committed to advancing education opportunities for students across our communities while removing barriers to success,” said Marta Self, executive director of the Regions Foundation.
As part of that commitment to promote educational attainment for people of color, the Regions Foundation funded grants for Alabama A&M University, Fisk University, Miles College, Tennessee State University, and Tuskegee University. Each grant will aid in support of students’ educational success, including scholarships.
Regions is the bellwether in the market for large regional banks, and when you are able to engage the support of an institution like Regions, it gets the attention of others.
Neil Wright, Bronze Valley President and CEO
Investments from Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are strategic and focused on results for people and businesses. In addition to the examples above, funding is also supporting minority homeownership, reducing the digital divide, encourage racial understanding, and supporting more CDFIs and minority deposit institutions (MDIs).
The work accomplished by these investments serves to build on programs Regions supports in cities and towns throughout the Southeast, the Midwest and Texas. And they will sharpen the focus, accelerate the resources, and further develop community partnerships to achieve our common goal of advancing racial equity.
About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation supports community investments that positively impact the communities served by Regions Bank. The Foundation engages in a grantmaking program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; and financial wellness. The Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), with $156 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation’s largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, wealth management, and mortgage products and services. Regions serves customers across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates more than 1,300 banking offices and approximately 2,000 ATMs. Regions Bank is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at www.regions.com.