LEDC Receives $5 Million from JPMorgan Chase to Address Wealth Gap for Black and Latina women living in West Baltimore

The Latino Economic Development Center’s (LEDC) POWER initiative will receive a total of $5 million from JP Morgan Chase to create a continuum of wealth building for Black and Latina women living in West Baltimore

January 26, 2022 (BALTIMORE) – LEDC and its partners: University of Maryland Baltimore's Community Engagement Center, University of Maryland School of Social Work, Black Women Build Baltimore, Baltimore D.C. Building Trades, Byte Back, and Baltimore Community Lending were awarded $5 million from JPMorgan Chase to develop a wealth continuum initiative called POWER which encourages wealth building for Black and Latina women experiencing poverty in Baltimore MD. In Baltimore, 66% of Black and Latino households meet the standard for liquid asset poverty, with 50% of Black and Latina women between 25 and 54 being cost-burdened renters.[1] This population was also negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Latina women, in particular, showcasing the highest unemployment rate of any group across the United States and standing at 20.1% in April 2020.[2]

With POWER: Prioritizing Our Women's Economic Rise Collaborative, LEDC and its collaborators seek to provide the appropriate tools such as technical assistance, access to capital, technology resources, and wraparound supports for these women as they pursue training and apprenticeships in real estate development and other additional fields to either establish their own small business or gain the knowledge to become the workforce these small businesses need to flourish.

POWER will encompass three leading accelerators to achieve its goals in the long-run: small business development incubator and accelerator programs, skills training in high-growth non-traditional occupational sectors such as construction trades, technology, affordable real estate development, and through accessible and appropriate financing and grant funding to correspondingly develop affordable homes in West Baltimore addressing the appraisal gap.

The expectation is to rebuild this zip code (21223) and its adjacent neighborhoods with other community-based organizations, the City of Baltimore and the Government of Maryland. All eager to improve their communities and invest in these women's livelihoods and households.

LEDC CEO Emi Reyes is thankful to JPMorgan Chase for believing in POWER. She said: "We are extremely grateful to JPMorgan Chase for trusting our partners and us and seeing the potential Black and Latina women harness when given the appropriate tools and opportunities. We are looking forward to rebuilding these Baltimore neighborhoods concretely from the ground up as we also positively invest in these households and purposefully create more economic growth for the region."

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