It can be easy to disengage. But we just can’t afford to do that. Not now. Not ever.
2020 has been a difficult year. We’ve all adapted in one way or another to the pandemic-staying socially distant, working from home. And that’s what I mean by saying it’s easy to disengage. When we don’t see people as much, we can lose sight of the needs, challenges and opportunities facing others and drift out of relationships.
But now, more than ever, we need to lean in.
We’re in a pandemic that has touched practically everybody. Families are mourning the loss of loved ones. Small-business owners are working hard to survive. Students have had to work through the challenges of distance learning. The examples go on and on.
At the same time, our country has experienced a series of racial injustices that we must come together and address as a society. That is why this summer, Regions Bank and the Alabama-based Regions Foundation announced a combined $12 million commitment to advance initiatives that promote racial equity and economic empowerment.
The funding from Regions Bank and Regions Foundation is part of a larger effort to support community engagement. We’ve been part of Metro Jackson for many years. Our goal is to use our resources and expertise to help our area move forward. While that has always been our focus, two years ago, we started developing a more clear strategy.
We wanted to be more effective – and we wanted to create longer-lasting impacts for Jackson, for Mississippi, and for all the communities we serve. We know there are challenges to growth and to making sure all people have access to the opportunity to succeed.
As Regions Bank defined our new strategy, we had a key goal in mind: to create more inclusive prosperity. We want to tear down barriers to success. We want to give of our time and talents and resources in ways that level the playing field.
Regions Bank’s three key priorities now include the following:
Advance education and workforce development: I believe the future of Jackson and Mississippi rests heavily upon our ability to improve educational outcomes that lead to a better-prepared and more economically viable workforce. As one example, Regions Bank has worked with Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, as well as Jobs for America’s Graduates. These are organizations that are connecting today’s youth with successful careers where they can prosper over time.
Additionally, Regions Bank and our associates have worked with United Way and Jackson Public Schools to make new investments in today’s youth and help them prepare for and adapt to the challenges they face to learning in these unusual circumstances.
Economic and community development: At Regions Bank, we believe a company can only be as strong as the communities it serves. As financial professionals, we have a unique opportunity to help foster the economic growth of our communities over time.
We are investing in new developments, whether they’re residential or business-related. Our Affordable Housing team is extending resources to new and renovated residential communities across several states. We are working with educators and employers to build bridges between the people of our communities and the economic opportunities surrounding us.
Financial wellness: Our teams have the insights and experience to help people define where they want to be financially – and then develop a roadmap on how to get there.
We offer financial education opportunities for free, and you don’t have to be a customer to benefit. That’s why there are free webinars through Regions.com. That’s why, in normal times, we’re in schools and colleges and workplaces offering financial guidance and education.
We want to help people prosper. And we are working with several nonprofit community partners to reach our goals. Over time, you can expect Regions Bank and Regions Foundation to develop additional community partnerships. We believe this united approach will have an impact that will reach more people.
Because while it may be easy to grow discouraged or become disengaged, there has perhaps never been a better time to leverage unity and solidarity to move Jackson and all of Mississippi forward – together.