A Message from John Turner on Regions’ Commitment to Racial Equity

Community Engagement

Recently, our country has experienced a series of racial injustices that have profoundly affected us as individuals and our communities as a whole – tragic incidents that have created urgent and necessary calls for racial equity and justice, not just across the nation but around the world. The underlying factors that have led to this reaction have been around for far too long, but the scale of the response we're seeing now is unlike any we've seen before.

It is heartbreaking to see the persistent, devastating consequences of systemic prejudice and social injustice. We cannot continue to tolerate the racism, bias and violence that people of color face daily. It is also clear that there must be reforms in the way law enforcement and the justice system operate.

For Regions, these are issues that literally hit home. Birmingham, the city of our headquarters, has been at the center of the Civil Rights Movement for more than a half century. I want you to know that I am personally committed to being part of the solution and our company is too. Working together, we have made great strides at Regions by strengthening our focus on diversity and inclusion. We have fostered meaningful conversations about culture and heritage and we have been hosting a series of discussions on race throughout our markets that will continue to accelerate our dialogue for change. We will use these perspectives to shape our future actions both inside our organization and in the communities we serve.

At the same time, we recognize that all groups have not shared equally in the economic prosperity of our nation. In 2018, we decided to focus our Community Investment efforts on promoting more inclusive prosperity. We formed dedicated teams to work across communities and direct resources to areas where they are needed most. We have taken an intentional and deliberate approach to invest in, and serve, communities of color.

While I'm proud of the efforts we have made, recent events remind us that much more work must be done – and we are prepared to do more. Regions Bank and the nonprofit Regions Foundation have announced a $12 million commitment over the next two years to advance programs and initiatives that promote racial equity and economic empowerment for communities of color while creating more inclusive opportunities for success, including:

  • $1 million from the Regions Foundation for the National Urban League, an organization Regions has long supported. The National Urban League and its local affiliates work to empower African Americans and underserved residents in urban areas by securing economic advancements, parity, power and civil rights.
  • $2 million from the Regions Community Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Regions Bank, as deposits in minority-owned banks to help their clients achieve their financial goals, including homeownership; and investments in Community Development Financial Institutions that work with minority-owned businesses to support their growth and success.
  • Investments in other areas, identified with the help of community partners, to address underlying factors associated with racial disparities and economic empowerment. This support will have three goals: advance minority business development, increase minority homeownership rates, and increase web accessibility in underserved communities.

Additional plans include growing our existing relationships with organizations such as Inner City Capital Connections, Operation Hope and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation also have provided significant financial and volunteer support to cultural organizations including the National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and others. To promote community dialogue and recognize important Black leaders, we will continue sponsoring events such as History in Motion and the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship.

As you read this message, I hope you will see recent events, as difficult as they are, as an opportunity to start new dialogues, to listen and to learn. While we may not have all the answers, we know the path forward requires willingness to listen and courage and compassion for each other. Thank you in advance for your support.

John M Turner