by Derrel Jazz Johnson
Chase and Kevin Hart teamed up to give college students from the Harlem community advice on improving financial health at a Chase branch in the heart of Harlem on Thursday, November 4, 2021. With Chase Managing Director and Business Executive Robert Scott, Hart shared tools and tips for improving financial health. He urged students to develop healthy financial habits now, not when they are ‘successful,’ using the wit and humor that has made him the star that he is today.
In front of an intimate crowd at the Chase branch at 55 West 125th Street, Hart shared personal stories of not having the proper financial habits in place when he first became successful to now being a father who is teaching his teenage children those good financial habits. “There were amazing downfalls, crazy debt, taxes were upside down,” Hart shared of his financial troubles. But he also viewed those downfalls as blessings in disguise and an opportunity to improve his financial health. “Those moments are good because there are lessons that come with them.”
The close of the event featured a question and answer segment, where Hart gave candid, and comical financial advice to the college students. “There is nothing more important than the people around you,” he shared when talking about a peer who didn’t have the drive to work hard and push through to comedic success. In a touching and comedic moment, Hart advised a young man to do what’s best for him and his financial health, despite whatever objections his Mom might have. Hart joked that the young man would then confront his mother with the advice Hart gave him.
After the 45-minute conversation with the college students, The Harlem Times was able to ask a question about his partnership with Chase.
“I mean, Chase gets it,” Hart simply replied. “When you talk about our community, when you talk about our people, there’s a real-world where financial literacy exists, and it doesn’t exist (in our community not) because our people are stupid or don’t know, it exists because they don’t get the opportunity to learn.”
Hart mentioned that Chase has put several initiatives in place to push forward and close the gap in financial literacy, specifically mentioning Advancing Black Pathways, a program aimed at helping Black communities build stronger paths toward financial success and empowerment with a $30 billion commitment by the end of 2025 designed to break down barriers of systemic racism.
“(Chase) is putting amazing Black minds together and we’re creating ways to go into the inner cities and various places and make sure we’re providing the tools, providing them with the weapons so they can progress in a way that we know they can and they should,” Hart passionately said. “Giving them people that have authenticity and real-life experience to talk to that can relate to them. It’s hard to communicate with us without people that look like us.”
Hart shared more on the commitment that Chase has in communities like Harlem.
“Chase is doing a lot of programs where they’re investing in Black businesses, where they’re finding young Black entrepreneurs and partnerships and they’re giving the chances, they’re loaning the money, they’re being creative and finding ways to engage (the community) where others (banks) aren’t,” Hart summarized.
Chase Northeast Division Director for Community & Business Development Rob Scott discussed the partnership between Chase and Hart as well as his visit to Harlem.
“Kevin has been such a great partner in helping us spread the message about the importance of financial health, which he is so passionate about,” he said. “We were excited to bring him into the Harlem community to meet with these students and have candid conversations as they start their financial journey.
For more information on Advancing Black Pathways, visit https://www.jpmorganchase.com/impact/people/advancing-black-pathways
For more information on the Chase and Kevin Hart partnership, visit https://hartofitall.chase.com/