In celebration of Black History Month, we sat down with Dwight Warren, Business Banking Market Manager for JPMorgan Chase in Phoenix, to discuss what Black History Month means to him, how the firm is advancing racial equity and Dwight’s goals for 2023.
1) What does Black History Month mean to you and how are you celebrating?
Black History Month represents an opportunity for us as an American people to pause and reflect on the journey and the many contributions of Blacks in America. This month helps recognize the struggles and triumphs of African Americans and brings awareness of the cultural heritage and historical significance of Blacks in America.
Throughout the month, I plan to participate in several planned events celebrating Black History Month. I am proud to be a part of a great organization that supports me and my colleagues in honoring African Americans as well as the many different races and cultures that reflect our employee base and the communities we serve.
2) How is JPMorgan Chase making an impact to advance racial equity?
Diversity, equality and inclusion have been an important part of the culture at JPMorgan Chase and we wanted to take a look at what else we can be doing. While our work to advance racial equity has been longstanding, in October 2020, we made a $30 billion commitment to advance racial equity that took a look at additional ways to address affordable housing, small business, financial health, among other critical financial needs within unbanked and underbanked communities.
As part of the commitment, here in metro Phoenix, we’ve hired a community manager who
connects community members with the many resources we’ve created to support financial health education, first-time homebuyer education, and many other resources. We also have Community Branches where we host free community events and financial health workshops.
In Phoenix, we also hired certified Senior Business Consultants who provide free one-on-one coaching and advice to local Black, Hispanic, Latino underbanked small business owners on everything from boosting creditworthiness to managing cash flow to effective marketing. Additionally, Chase Home Lending Advisors are available in metro Phoenix and across the U.S. whether you want to click, call or visit in-branch – to help you prepare for homeownership, including identifying the right financing solutions and any down payment/housing assistance available.
We’re invested in making an impact in metro Phoenix and committed to supporting underserved communities, helping them reach their financial goals.
3) How should other companies and individuals be thinking about advancing racial equity?
We all can make an effort to help advance racial equity within our community – including by investing in or shopping with local diverse-owned businesses, supporting philanthropic efforts in our community and participating in community events.
Consider looking for diverse initiatives and business resource groups within your company that focus on supporting underserved or underrepresented communities, and asking if there are opportunities to support those initiatives or groups. For instance, JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways initiative works to support the economic empowerment of the Black community globally. Through our Global Supplier Diversity program we’re using our purchasing power to build economic equity in diverse communities, foster the success of underrepresented business owners, and promote equity, inclusion and sustainability across the wider business community.
In metro Phoenix, we’re also supporting IMPACT AZ 2025, a nine-month supplier diversity readiness program designed to close the racial wealth gap for Black and minority business owners, is proud to announce JPMorgan Chase as its title sponsor. IMPACT AZ 2025 is an action-focused program that includes a physical space to assist business owners with resources to promote stability and growth and business development for supplier diversity opportunities. It features procurement access, mentorship and networking opportunities, training in accounting and finance, access to public and private partnerships, and more. The application deadline is March 15 and more information is available at www.impactaz2025.com.
We also have initiatives focused on other communities, and business resource groups that share our company commitment to equity and equality and create opportunities for employees to be engaged.
4) Tell me about your connection to the Phoenix community and opportunities for growth here?
My family has deep ties in the metro Phoenix community spanning several generations, starting with my great-grandparents who migrated to Arizona from Marlin, Texas, in the early 1900s. My grandfather, Dr. Morrison Warren, Sr., was a trailblazer, braking barriers and leaving a legacy for generations to come. Both he and his wife-to-be (my grandmother) attended Booker T. Washington Elementary and graduated from Phoenix Union Colored High School.
The Warren family has since gone on to contribute in many ways here in the Valley and beyond as lawyers, city councilmen, educators, bankers, NFL executives and business owners. More than 30 members of our family have graduated from Arizona State University, including both grandparents, my father, myself and so far one of my children.
5) What are your goals for this year, and/or, what are you looking forward to in 2023?
I’m always striving to get better at what matters most to me. Being closer to God, loving and taking care of my family and contributing in a positive way to my community.
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