Wells Fargo Successfully Launches National African American Media Tour
Multi-City Events Kick Off During Black Press Week in Washington D.C., and Feature Actor, Author and Philanthropist Hill Harper
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) successfully kicked-off a multi-city African American media tour, hosting a special luncheon for local black media in the Washington, D.C.-area, and sponsoring a rare,
well-received visit by acclaimed actor, author and philanthropist Hill Harper, of ÂCSI: New YorkÂ TV fame with youngsters attending The Fishing School.
The launch also included Wells Fargo sponsorship of the National Newspaper Publishers AssociationÂs (NNPA) highly-anticipated ÂState of the Black PressÂ forum and luncheon marking national Black
Press Week, and the National Association of Black-Owned BroadcastersÂ 26th annual Communication Awards dinner. Among the luminaries feted at the NNPA luncheon were NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell of The Los Angeles Sentinel, NNPA immediate past president Dorothy Leavell of The Chicago
Crusader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Ron Daniels and Marc Morial of the National Urban League.
As part of Wells FargoÂs national media tour, a series of similar luncheon events will be hosted in key markets across the country, wherein Wells Fargo will share with key black media outlets and representatives its record on diversity, and ongoing commitment to long term economic development in the African American community. The invitation-only events are scheduled for March 2010 through 2011, with specific dates and markets to be announced.
As Wells Fargo and Wachovia Corporation transition to one company under the Wells Fargo brand, the company continues to make substantial investments in education, community development and economic initiatives in the African American communities where it does business. In 2009 alone, Wells Fargo contributed $12 million to nonprofit organizations in the mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Approximately $2.6 million of that amount was earmarked for programs specifically serving the African American mid-Atlantic community.
In 2009, Wells Fargo donated $202 million to 18,000 nonprofits nationwide supporting education, community development, human services, the arts and the environment. This sum included more than $26 million to organizations specifically servicing the African American community. Harper additionally served as a special guest speaker at the Washington, D.C. media luncheon, and discussed the importance of financial literacy and planning, and motivating young people and adults to use financial education programs to help them achieve their goals.
Joined by local Wells Fargo executives, the noted actor and author detailed how banking tools such as those from Wells Fargo can assist with wealth-building, money management, investing and small business growth. Harper is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Sheldon Hawkes on CBS-TVÂs ÂCSI: NYÂ police drama. He has also appeared in a number of other films and TV programs, and has written three motivational books. His Manifest Your Destiny (www.manifestyourdestiny.org) Web site is dedicated to highlighting topics such as financial empowerment for African Americans. Harper also previously participated in the United Negro College FundÂs Empower Me tour sponsored by Wells Fargo.
ÂWells Fargo is taking its outreach to African American audiences and customers nationwide very seriously,Â said Michelle Thornhill, senior vice president and African American segment manager at Wells Fargo. ÂOne of our paramount objectives is to tell our story, and to satisfy customersÂ financial needs. It is our firm belief as a company that in this tumultuous economy, we can best help people succeed by being a presence where they live, work and do business, and by making it known that we have the tools, products and resources to help get them there.Â
Wells Fargo outlined for journalists in attendance its position as the number one lender to small businesses. In 2008, the company met its 12-year goal to lend $1 billion to African American small businesses Â two full years ahead of target. The company further extended that goal, seeking to lend an additional $1 billion by 2018, totaling a cumulative $2 billion in lending to African American business owners.
In the mid-Atlantic region, Wells Fargo is rapidly increasing its presence with its 2008 merger with Wachovia Corporation. Currently, there are 408 Wachovia-branded banking stores in the mid-Atlantic region. These stores will convert to the Wells Fargo brand in 2011. Together, the two companies employ more than 13,600 team members in the area.
Wells Fargo has received several honors in recognition of its commitment to diversity and corporate responsibility. The company was named the worldÂs 14th most admired company by Fortune magazine (2009), one of the top 50 companies for diversity by Diversity Inc magazine (2002-2009) and one of the 100 ÂBest Corporate CitizensÂ by CRO (Corporate Responsibility Officer) magazine (2009). Wachovia has been listed on Diversity Inc magazineÂs ÂTop 50Â list every year since 2003, and was named four times as one of the Â25 Great Places for Black Women to WorkÂ by Essence magazine.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 10,000 stores and 12,000 ATMS, and the internet (www.wellsfargo.com ) across North America and internationally. The Company promotes economic growth and self-sufficiency, education, social services, the arts and the environment in thousands of communities across North America. In 2009, the Company gave $202 million in grants to 18,000 nonprofits. The merger of Wells Fargo and Wachovia makes our presence twice as strong in the communities we serve. For more about Wells FargoÂs achievements in Social Responsibility: www.wellsfargo.com/about/csr.
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EditorÂs note: Captioned photo for editorial use below. JPEG image attached herein. Please contact me for additional images.
1. Discussing the importance of financial planning for individuals and families, actor, author and philanthropist Hill Harper addresses African American journalists and publishers at the Washington, D.C. luncheon announcing Wells FargoÂs 2010 national African American media tour.
PHOTO BY MARK FINKENSTAEDT/COURTESY FLOWERS COMMUNICATIONS GROUP.
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Ronald E. Childs
Flowers Communications Group