About Southern Communities Initiative
Southern Communities Initiative is a consortium of companies with a single mission: to advance racial parity in six Southern U.S. communities. The Initiative focuses on these six communities since nearly half of all Black Americans live in these cities and the surrounding metro areas.
Why Southern Communities Initiative’s Work Is Important
The racial wealth gap was created and persists due to four centuries of institutional and systemic racism targeting Black Americans. Addressing the racial wealth gap is not only the just thing to do — fixing systemic issues, inequitable policies and other discriminatory practices will improve the economic security of all Americans.
Southern Communities Initiative is already creating lasting change in the six Southern communities. The Initiative has:
Helped to obtain commitments of $100B+ for corporate and philanthropic racial equity programs across the U.S.
Partnered with 90+ organizations to initiate change.
Supported 9K+ Black-owned businesses and minority business enterprises across the Initiative’s six communities.
While the estimated investment needed to achieve the Initiative’s goals is ~$2B-2.5B, the estimated economic impact after ~10 years is ~5x+.
To ensure that progress is made on Southern Communities Initiative racial equity priorities, each community has a dedicated community leader.
How the Southern Communities Initiative Is Helping the Black American Community
The Initiative partners with community leaders, companies and philanthropic organizations to implement local and sustainable measures to improve community resources.
The idea for Southern Communities Initiative stems from The 2% Solution, an initiative that encourages organizations to invest 2% of their profits over a ten-year period into underserved communities. The ultimate goal of The 2% Solution is to bridge the racial wealth gap.
Specifically, the Southern Communities Initiative concentrates its efforts on six racial equity priorities, which include:
Providing technical expertise to minority business enterprises (MBEs) to help them improve their operations.
Making capital accessible to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and minority depository institutions (MDIs).
Furthering the development of African American students and professionals by increasing the accessibility of paid internships.
4. Digital Access
Issuing more digital access equality bonds and investing the proceeds back into our digital access initiatives, particularly at HBCUs.
Advocating for our priorities at the federal, state and local levels to drive policy and funding improvements.
Investing directly into our program to provide funding for transformative community initiatives.
The Southern Communities Initiative team helps to connect partners and local community organizations in our six Southern regions.
Mambu Sherman is the founding Executive Director of Southern Communities Initiative. Prior to joining the Initiative, Mambu served as Vice President, Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase, where he led the firm’s philanthropic strategy across Chicago, Indiana and Wisconsin markets with the goal to drive inclusive growth and greater economic opportunity in cities. A proud HBCU alumnus of Savannah State University, Sherman earned his MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.
Partner organizations help the Southern Communities Initiative to address critical needs and gaps in the six communities.
Join Us and Get Involved!
If you are interested in partnering with Southern Communities Initiative or wish to volunteer your time, we invite you to explore the different ways you can engage.