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Wells Fargo Donates $1 million to Johnson C. Smith University

Charlotte, N.C. / May 5, 2021 - Biddle Memorial Hall was the site of another moment in Johnson C. Smith University history as Wells Fargo gave a $1 million grant to the University. N.C. Governor Roy Cooper, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles and Wells Fargo executives were in the historic auditorium when Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf announced the grant. 

“While we are seeing signs of economic improvement, we also realize that not all of our communities are benefiting equally in this recovery,” said Scharf. “That is why Wells Fargo is being intentional about supporting a more inclusive economic recovery, with a focus on racial and social equity, economic mobility and investments in low- and moderate-income communities. We are pleased to announce these grants for the Charlotte area and will continue to focus on ways we can support positive change.”

Funding will provide student scholarships, experiential learning supporting entrepreneurship and small business ownership, student financial health education and credit score development at the University.

“It is evident that HBCUs play a critical role in the advancement of economic mobility for many Black Americans – not just here in Charlotte, but across the nation. Now more than ever as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson C. Smith University’s importance as Charlotte’s only historically Black university is undeniable. It is my mission to continue transforming the lives of often excluded Black and minority students by ensuring their access to a high-quality, affordable education at JCSU. Gifts from long-term corporate partners such as Wells Fargo make it easier for me to do so,” JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister said as he spoke during the press conference.

In addition, Wells Fargo announced donations to six other organizations, including United Way of Central Carolinas, totaling more than $3.2 million in grants to address a range of critical community needs across Charlotte, including advancing economic mobility, improving racial equity, supporting minority-owned small businesses and advancing entrepreneurship for the next generation of business leaders.

The announcements coincide with and help celebrate the return of the Wells Fargo Championship to Charlotte. The PGA TOUR event, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, has raised more than $24 million for charitable organizations since 2003. The Wells Fargo Championship provides significant economic impact to the Charlotte-area economy – estimated at more than $50 million annually.

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