Ally to donate $30 million to address racial inequalities

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Ally Financial in Detroit has joined a growing list of banks contributing funds to help communities of color that are struggling with the pandemic and social unrest.

The company's North Carolina-based charitable arm said in a press release Thursday it would commit $30 million over the next three years to support “economic mobility" across markets where the online bank does business.

Ongoing protests against police brutality have led more companies to address economic inequality.

"In addition to supporting organizations doing exemplary work in promoting economic mobility, we will use the Foundation as an important new avenue to listen, collaborate, and learn, in order to drive lasting, equitable changes in the communities we serve,” Mike Rizer, president of the Ally Charitable Foundation, said in the release.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s branch in Minneapolis and St. Paul will receive a $100,000 grant that will be dispersed to small businesses in the Little Africa community to help owners reopen and make technology upgrades.

"The COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest that followed in the wake of George Floyd's murder were especially hard on small businesses in the Twin Cities, particularly in areas like Little Africa,” Peter McLaughlin, executive director of LISC Twin Cities, said in the release. “This grant will help local businesses survive the recession and emerge in a position ready to serve their communities."

LISC’s national operation will receive $3 million from Ally to help people seeking to start a small business or own a home.

“The racial wealth gap in the country is real and in my mind one of the greatest threats to American competitiveness in the global economy, and it is something that we have to address aggressively,” LISC CEO Maurice Jones said during a Sept. 11 virutal conference to discuss the racial wealth gap.

Rebuild&HealMN will receive a $200,000 grant to help small businesses in Minneapolis rebuild after police clashes with protesters in the area.

Ally is also giving a $100,000 grant to Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a nonprofit in Little Rock, Ark., that will use the funds to make loans to local organizations that otherwise fall short of bank lending requirements. Other recipients of Ally’s grants include Junior Achievement USA and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

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