Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 12, 2021
MEDA Announces a $250,000 Rural Capacity-Building Philanthropic Investment from JPMorgan Chase
Strengthening rural California by advancing economic mobility in Latino communities
SAN FRANCISCO — The nonprofit Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has announced a $250,000 philanthropic investment from JPMorgan Chase so that the organization can launch a multi-year effort to scale capacity of rural nonprofits across California.
“Even before the pandemic, Latino communities in rural California faced many barriers to economic opportunity,” said Mercedeh Mortazavi, Vice President of Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase. “By investing in strengthening Latino-serving nonprofits, we can help increase access to economic opportunity through community development infrastructure and drive an inclusive recovery.”
The Latino rural community showcases powerful individual and collective stories of strength, resilience and perseverance; however, those narratives do not always translate to the well-being of these communities. Latino communities across California have long faced significant barriers to success that include housing insecurity, challenges to legal status and rampant inequality. According to a report by the Insight Center released prior to COVID-19, 52% — or 1.6 million — of California Latino households had trouble paying for basic expenses such as food, housing and electricity, up from 49% in 2014. The median income for Latino households in 2016 was $56,200, compared with $78,00 statewide and $96,400 for white households (CalMatters, Oct. 10, 2019).
These existing inequities were further exacerbated by the onset of the COViD-19 pandemic last March. Economic challenges are disproportionate: Households with annual incomes under $40,000 are twice as likely to report job loss as those earning $80,000 or more, with Latinos reporting job loss at nearly twice the rate of white residents of the state (Public Policy Institute of California, Aug. 7, 2020). Additionally, health consequences for Latinos have been dire. For example, ICU capacity fell to 0% in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region, an area that is 41% Latino (Fresno Bee, Dec. 13, 2020).
“There is an urgent need to tackle the issues for Latino communities in rural California,” said Luis Granados, Chief Executive Officer at MEDA. “In the past, MEDA engaged nonprofit leaders and elected officials in rural communities throughout California, and these discussions revealed that rural Latino communities often have a strong social services infrastructure that may include health, education and early learning services to improve Latino and immigrant families’ quality of life. However, very few have community development infrastructure to implement the development of affordable housing and community facilities, engage in business lending or provide high-quality financial coaching — all of which are critical to our pandemic recovery.”
Community capacity-building, to address ongoing issues, will be a key result of the initiative, which will help Latino-serving nonprofits increase the financial capability of LMI families, business owners and community institutions, as well as provide access to responsible capital and credit needed to build affordable housing and small businesses. As this program advances, there will be a focus on ensuring that local communities achieve at least a minimum level of capacity that allows them to address their specific needs and achieves long-term economic sustainability.
The initiative is slated to commence in February 2021.
About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.2 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands.