“A Tree Branch Grows In Harlem”

On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, in Harlem, New York, Chase hosted a “Women of Color Investing Workshop” at their Community Center branch on 125th Street near Lenox Avenue. The building once housed the esteemed offices of former President Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States of America. It is an amazing fact and is inspiring that the former two-term President and former Governor of Arkansas would grace our hamlet here in the Village of Harlem and work in the same building as Chase.

Held in partnership with Women of Color and Capital, the symposium began stating that women of color, particularly African-American/Black Diaspora and Latina women are an untapped group for investing opportunities. A recent Chase survey found that 59 percent of Black women and 57 percent of Latina women are interested in wealth development as opposed to 46% of White women. The women from these communities want to accumulate wealth through investing in order to leave wealth for their children and families. JPMorgan’s Wealth Management Leaders have heard from many women of color about their interest in investing in Harlem and beyond.

The workshop, which was led by Caillen Fort, a J.P. Morgan Private Client Advisor, Investments, included eye-opening facts about how to responsibly invest and how it is more attainable than many perceive.

In this workshop, attendees learned about ‘setting up Financial Goals’.

One of the topics included Property Investment. The attendees learned about investments in vehicles such as 401K investments, which helps people grow their assets from earned income credits.

Most middle class workers today earn salaries that must stretch for a plethora of family needs and may oftentimes be stretched for capital. The workshop encouraged people to re-imagine their financial status and to re-think how to create consistency with the money people earn. In addition, attendees were encouraged to set both long-term and short-term goals in alignment totheir present and future needs.

A major rhetorical and actual question on everyone’s mind was: how does one start? How does one secure such information? How does one get started in investing?

The first step is to secure a Financial Advisor who will expertly guide us towards sensible investments, which also include, but are not limited to: Brokerage Accounts, IRAs, online investments and other traditional investment vehicles. The workshop leaders also encouraged people to create a vision board. They suggested people imagine a 90-day to six-month vision board that keeps people on schedule with saving and investing their money.

 Ola Wadibia, vice president for Women on the Move at JPMorgan Chase, shared that racial equality is the key to harmony and reduction of crime and other societal ills in America. She sees women with different abilities, women with military backgrounds and even senior citizens achieve excellent results through coaching and mentoring. Similar workshops have been held in Chicago, Atlanta and Detroit, among others.  

Adeola Adejobi, who founded and runs Women of Color and Capital, is a Crain’s New York 2022 Notable Black Leader. She spoke about the need to connect women of color, in particular Black and Latina women, to investment opportunities. She says, “education and awareness are key elements for success.” She founded the organization to help diverse women entrepreneurs and professionals come together to learn about money, finance, capital and investing from a 360 degree lens.

Rocky Chowdhury, vice president and community manager of the Chase Harlem Community Center branch, spoke about the vibrancy and synergy in Harlem, and how this event brought people together to learn and take the first steps to have more ownership over their financial future. She envisions the Harlem branch serving as a welcoming space for persons interested in bridging the racial wealth divide She said Harlem residents should feel free to come in and interface with the bank about receiving information and obtain investing information and connect with other like-minded burgeoning entrepreneurs.

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