By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Wells Fargo recently awarded the NAACP a $50 million grant to help the civil rights organization develop a new national headquarters in Washington D.C. and bolster local NAACP branches across the country.
The grant marks the single-largest donation that the NAACP has ever received from a corporation.
“We’re grateful to Wells Fargo for their donation, the single largest donation the NAACP has ever received from a corporation. These funds will go directly toward strengthening the NAACP’s grassroots network of local units and branches across all 50 states, as well as the work of the national NAACP,” said Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP.
“All corporations play a critical role in our democracy. They must be engaged as allies in the fight to end discrimination — in our economy, in our justice system, across our society, and within their own services.”
The NAACP’s headquarters have been in Baltimore since 1986, but in 2020, the social justice nonprofit announced that it would move its central office to D.C. at the soon-to-be redeveloped Frank D. Reeves Center.
Wells Fargo has supported the NAACP since 1998. Over the years, the financial services company has helped to fund the NAACP Financial Freedom Center, provide financial literacy programs and offer homeownership programs.
“Wells Fargo’s had a very long-standing relationship with the NAACP where we have collaborated with them, worked with their principals over the years and even worked with branch units in markets where Wells Fargo has a presence and where we have employees who live and work there,” said Georgette “Gigi” Dixon, vice president and head of external engagement for diverse segments, representation and inclusion for Wells Fargo.
“Our relationship with them spans beyond 20 years, and it has been a tier-one, significant relationship for us to reach constituencies that we share in common to try to instill and promote the idea of financial health and economic opportunity.”
With this multi-year donation, the NAACP will be able to strengthen its more than 2,000 branch units across the U.S. by providing microgrants to enhance infrastructure and to obtain the requisite resources needed to effect change at the local level.
“This particular grant signifies our ongoing and continued commitment to the work of the NAACP, and that includes major events that the NAACP hosts, like the Women in NAACP Empowerment Brunch and Image Awards. These positive images, the impact that’s happened at the local market with the NAACP branch units, laddering up to the national mission, vision and purpose of the NAACP, which is to remove discrimination against all people of color, is important,” Dixon told the AFRO.
“As a corporate citizen, Wells Fargo has a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This is one of the ways that we demonstrate our commitment but also enable our employees, our leaders and our stakeholders to be engaged in the work.”
Megan Sayles is a Report for America Corps member.