We have the power to strengthen Black institutions by strengthening the economic power of frontline communities of color to reduce economic disparities while disempowering systems of mass incarceration and environmental pollution.
"Black Banks can be a model for how balance is created"
Bank Black and Green is a campaign led by Hip Hop Caucus’ economic justice platform ‘Justice Paid in Full.’ It’s a multi-year campaign encouraging Black-owned banks to commit against funding the fossil fuel industry and mass incarceration and deploy capital to frontline communities of color. To increase resources for frontline communities of color, Bank Black and Green also encourages value-based impact investors to shift financial capital to Black-owned banks.
This campaign will help bring to light Black-owned banks’ commitment to the communities they serve and our planet while expanding opportunities for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people to enact greater climate and environmental solutions.
Pollution from fossil fuels worsens the effects of climate change, and together they create a destructive loop that disproportionately impacts the well-being of Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels intensify natural disasters, like hurricanes, and cause more catastrophic damage when those disasters strike.
Due to decades of redlining, communities of color have been concentrated in industrial zones and next to highways, directly exposing residents to harmful vehicle emissions and other toxins.
A joint study from Rice University and the University of Pittsburgh shows that white communities experience higher levels of reinvestment after natural disasters than communities of color. White communities also experience an increase in average wealth following natural disasters, while wealth decreases in communities of color.
“Mass incarceration is a network of policing, prosecution, incarceration, surveillance, debt, and social control that is rooted in, builds upon, and reproduces economic and racial inequality and oppression. Some refer to this network as the carceral state, the penal state, or the criminal legal system.” – End Mass Incarceration
The United States incarcerates more people than any other nation and mass incarceration disproportionately impacts low-income people and people of color. Since 1970, our incarcerated population has increased by 500 percent. There are nearly 2 million people incarcerated in the U.S. today. The United States spends $80 billion on incarceration annually.
Access to Capital
Historically, Black communities have been forced to live with limited access to financial services and capital. As a result, Black-owned banks and credit unions are a vital resource in underbanked communities. There is tremendous economic and social power within Black banking institutions; however, they are chronically underinvested.
Black MDIs (Minority Depository Institutions) have not benefited from the same levels of capital investments that the greater financial institution ecosystem has received, which means that they have significantly fewer resources to support the communities they serve and to recover in recessive periods.
We are taking a new approach to shift financial capital away from industries causing harm and toward communities that hold the solutions.
The Bank Black and Green campaign aims for all Black-owned banks to commit to investing in public health and safety and to shift millions of dollars of green lending and capital to the communities they serve by committing to the Bank Black and Green pledge. The pledge is a commitment to divest from the fossil fuel industry and mass incarceration and invest in the well-being of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities.
Bank Black and Green aims to raise the bar on climate finance campaigning
This campaign aims to serve as a model for how balance is created between community, environmental, and shareholder needs. Racial equity and economic justice outcomes must be part and parcel with emissions reduction outcomes.
Whether you are a financial investor or are looking for investment to support your projects or business, Bank Black and Green has resources for you.
Sign up for updates on the campaign to stay involved.