Netflix said it has fulfilled a pledge to move two percent of its cash holdings, around $100 million, into Black-led banks and financial institutions, a plan it first announced in late June of 2020, and announced how the funds have been distributed.
The idea is that better capitalized institutions will mean more home and small-business loans and better opportunities for Black communities. The program was implemented in a rush of social justice commitments from companies amid the national reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.
Netflix’ 2% commitment is ongoing on an annual basis, meaning the investment grows over time. “So we will be topping up our commitment at the end of the year and moving more cash — over and above the $100 million already committed — into these institutions,” said Aaron Mitchell, Director, Human Resources, Netflix Animation Studios, and Shannon Alwyn, Netflix Treasurer, in a blog post Wednesday.
They cited the streaming giant’s early investment in Hope Credit Union, a community development financial institution that serves underbanked communities across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, which they said helped a Black homeowner and a Black-owned businesses, among others, survive the pandemic. Netflix is featuring their stories in a new web series, Banking On Us.
The first episode, Investing in the Black Community, premieres today on YouTube. Episode 2 on business ownership rolls out Dec. 8 and episode 3 on home ownership on Dec. 15.
“To help close the wealth gap, we need more companies to join this movement… Together, we can contribute to more healing and progress for Black communities,” Mitchell and Alwyn said.
Netflix said the $100 million was allocated as follows:
-$10 million deposited with Hope Credit Union
-$25 million invested as seed funding to establish the Black Economic Development Fund, managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. The fund invests in Black-led banks, anchor institutions, businesses, and real estate developers. It reached its $250 million goal this year thanks to capital investments from 11 public and private companies, including Paypal, Costco, Square and McKinsey.
-$10 million invested with The Change Company to finance Black homeowners
-$25 million invested as seed funding for Enterprise Community Impact Note to support its Equitable Path Forward initiative to create and preserve affordable homes in diverse communities
-$10 million deposited with One United Bank
-$20 million invested in Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note to support housing and community development projects focused on U.S. BIPOC communities
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