Helping to narrow the wealth gap

Netflix has fulfilled its June 2020 promise to move $100 million in cash — about 2 percent of the company’s cash capital — to Black banks. The intention is “to help narrow the racial wealth gap.”

Always a streamer, Netflix has adapted the investment into a YouTube series, “Banking on Us.” (Yes, somewhat ironically on YouTube — and perhaps even more so, with a weekly episodic rollout.)

The first episode of “Banking on Us,” titled “Investing in the Black Community,” premiered last week. Episode 2, which is on business ownership, premiered Dec. 8 Episode 3, on home ownership, premieres the following week at the same time.

The allocations are below.

•  $10 million was deposited with Hope Credit Union in the form of a transformational deposit to fuel economic opportunity in underserved communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. 

•  $25 million was invested as seed funding to establish the Black Economic Development Fund, managed by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). 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 and Company.

•  $10 million was invested with The Change Company to finance more Black homeowners fairly and responsibly.

•  $25 million was invested as seed funding for the Enterprise Community Impact Note to support its Equitable Path Forward initiative. The initiative supports historically marginalized housing providers in creating and preserving affordable homes in diverse communities.

•  $10 million was deposited with OneUnited Bank as the start of an ongoing relationship.

•  $20 million was invested in Calvert Impact Capital’s Community Investment Note. The funds are earmarked to support housing and community development projects focused on U.S. BIPOC communities.

Since the pledge is a percentage of Netflix’s cash, the investment is expected to grow over time.

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