The hit parade of big companies making cash infusions into black-led financial entities keep growing. The latest one occurred Thursday after it was announced that Biogen Inc. is depositing $10 million into OneUnited Bank. The move will help support the #BankBlack Movement.
Boston-based Biogen is a global technology company, recently gaining some press for working on treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Also based in Boston, OneUnited Bank ranks first on the latest BE 100s Banks list.
The commitment comes after multiple recent actions by major corporations to invest with Black-owned banks largely serving African American communities in the wake of national protests and racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd.
In June, Netflix made the largest private donation ever to historically black colleges and universities. That came after the company’s donation of $100 million dollars for COVID-19 relief. The streaming entertainment giant announced this summer that it will invest $100 million in Black-owned banks.
“OneUnited Bank actively supports social justice movements including #BlackLivesMatter, #TakeAKnee, the #1619Project and the incredibly successful #BlackOutDay2020,” Kevin Cohee, chairman and CEO of OneUnited Bank, said in a news release. “The Bank has consistently encouraged the Black community to use its considerable financial might more purposefully to send a message that is part protest, part progress.”
Mike Dambach, vice president of Treasury at Biogen, stated, “OneUnited has the important role of helping finance growth. We are proud to do our part to support families and businesses on their financial journey, especially during these difficult economic times.”
Chirfi Guindo, executive vice president of Global Product Strategy Commercialization at Biogen, added, “For Biogen, this deposit is one of many ways we are delivering on our enhanced Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy. But for OneUnited’s customers, this deposit could mean allowing them to pursue their dreams or strengthening underrepresented minority businesses.”
Since the social unrest that broke out nationally, OneUnited’s “part progress, part protest” message has become a national call for Black America to focus on closing the racial wealth gap and creating generational wealth. Since May, interest in OneUnited has increased 100%, the banks reports. The bank claims it has drawn more than 50,000 new customers and over $50 million in deposits.