Fifth Ward mural, "The Fruits of Fifth Ward."

Chase is celebrating the grand opening of its first Community Center branch in Houston, which is designed to provide greater access to banking services and financial education for the underserved communities of Houston.

The new branch in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward will help more Black and Hispanic consumers open accounts, manage their money, start businesses and buy homes.

JPMorgan Chase. AP photo.

Later in the day, JPMorgan Chase also will announce a $1 million commitment to Texas Southern University to expand student education, scholarship and recruitment opportunities.

“We recognize that talent is distributed equally but opportunity is not,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase. “HBCUs have been producing top talent for decades and we feel that by expanding our partnerships more broadly, we’ll inspire a whole new generation of leaders to guide us into an exciting global economy and a more equitable future.” 

“Texas Southern University is proud to partner with JPMorgan Chase to transform the lives of our students and community,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, President of Texas Southern University. “We look forward to a strategic relationship that will enhance the career trajectory of our students, provide professional resources for our faculty, and elevate the financial and entrepreneurial prowess of our entire TSU community. We are grateful for the generous donation of the time, talent and resources of the JPMorgan Chase team.”

The $1 million investment will support TSU’s Future Bankers Leadership Program, designed to open pathways for students seeking careers in finance. The program will serve juniors and seniors enrolled in the college’s Jesse H. Jones School of Business.

Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, TSU’s 13th president, is flanked by members of TSU regents during the June 17, 2021 reception. Photo by Aswad Walker.

“Working with TSU, we can equip students with the skills to meet the high demand for diverse talent in Houston’s banking sector. Our bankers are ready roll up our sleeves and engage with these students as part of an ongoing relationship with Texas Southern,” said Kisha Porch, Regional Director for Chase branches in Houston, San Antonio and El Paso.  “A banking sector that better reflects Houston’s tremendous diversity will create more opportunities for all.”

Earlier this year, JPMorgan Chase announced a $250,000 investment with TSU to establish a virtual information hub that will help Houstonians living in neighborhoods that are vulnerable to flooding. TSU will work with those communities to create their own disaster preparedness plans and personal readiness plans. The work will include information for COVID-19 prevention.

In late September, JPMorgan Chase announced a multi-million-dollar investment in Unity National Bank to strengthen the independent, Black-owned bank so that it can increase mortgage lending and support of local small businesses. Founded in Houston 58 years ago, Unity is the only African American owned banking institution based in Texas. Unity’s historic bank branch is located only a few blocks from the TSU campus.

The Unity National Bank investment, HBCU commitment and Community Center branch are part of Chase’s recently announced $30 billion commitment to bring more economic opportunity to diverse communities.

Moving beyond community banking to community building

The mission of the Community Center branch at 1605 Lockwood Drive is to help residents and local small businesses realize a better financial future through free financial health and home buying workshops and business mentorship. The branch has free meeting space for community groups and local non-profits, and free WiFi for customers.

In addition to a branch manager, the Lyons and Lockwood location includes a full- time Community Manager, Kimberly Evans, who is engaging the community and businesses to help connect them with financial health tools, products and services.

“Business has a responsibility to help solve challenges facing the customers and communities it serves, and that includes addressing long standing racial and economic inequities that affect far too many neighbors,” Dimon said. “We are committed to creating more economic opportunity for more Houstonians. We want to help people build a strong financial foundation so they can thrive and build wealth.”

To help advance homeownership in diverse and traditionally underserved communities, Chase Home Lending is now offering a $5,000 homebuyer grant to help in covering closing costs and down payment for qualified homebuyers purchasing a home in underserved communities across the nation. In addition, customers who complete a certified education course can save an additional $500 on a Chase DreaMaker mortgage.