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A Conversation About Racial Equality

As a firm, we’re committed to fighting against racism and discrimination. Here’s how we can get started.

Updated: March 2, 2021

Last year, civil unrest and nationwide protests sparked an ongoing conversation around the world about how we all can create a more equitable world for the Black community.

Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and also a Board Director at the firm, sat down with Brian Lamb, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, to discuss their reactions to the current climate, the existing racial economic inequality and what we can do, as colleagues and as individuals, to foster inclusivity in our communities and workplaces. We all have a responsibility to tackle racial and economic injustice and it starts by engaging in honest and difficult conversations, so we can map out a path towards racial equality.

From conversation comes positive action, and JPMorgan Chase has now invested $200 million to grow minority-owned businesses with Ariel Investments. With this backing, new investment arm Ariel Alternatives is set to launch its first initiative, which will begin to close supply chain diversity gaps.

Mellody Hobson

Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and Board Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Mellody Hobson Quote We have these economic promises that we make to young people about getting an education. But it's not paying off in the end result. So what do we need to do? We need to make sure that we are looking at these income gaps in terms of pay. There's been a lot of work around gender pay equality. We need to make sure we have racial equality as well. Mellody Hobson Co-CEO of Ariel Investments and Board Director of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

As Co-CEO, Mellody is responsible for management, strategic planning and growth for all areas of Ariel Investments outside of research and portfolio management. Additionally, she serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ariel Investment Trust—the company’s publicly traded mutual funds. Prior to being named Co-CEO, Mellody spent nearly two decades as the firm’s President. Outside of Ariel, Mellody is a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy. She has conducted extensive research on minority investing patterns and pens a column for Black Enterprise Magazine. Her leadership has also been invaluable to corporate boardrooms across the nation.

She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation; a director of JPMorgan Chase; and a director of Quibi, a short-form video content company. She previously served as Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale and was also a longstanding board member of the Estée Lauder Companies. Mellody’s community outreach includes her role as Chairman of After School Matters, a Chicago non-profit that provides area teens with high-quality after school and summer programs. Additionally, she is vice chair of World Business Chicago; co-chair of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; and a board member of the George Lucas Education Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. She also serves on the board at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Mellody is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees, and serves on the executive committee of the Investment Company Institute. Mellody earned her AB from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations and Public Policy. In 2019, she was awarded the University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, presented annually to a Princeton graduate whose career embodies a commitment to national service. She has also received honorary doctorate degrees from Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, St. Mary’s College, and the University of Southern California. In 2015, Time Magazine named her one of the “100 Most Influential People” in the world.

Brian Lamb

Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Brian Lamb Quote What are they going to say about the fingerprints you left on society, your neighborhood, your community, and your business? What are they going to say about the work that you did, the influence that you had, the behaviors that you demonstrated? You have a chance to write that history with your actions. Brian Lamb Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Brian Lamb is the global head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) at JPMorgan Chase & Co. He is responsible for creating and executing a holistic internal and external strategy — further incorporating a diversity lens into how the firm develops products and services, serves clients, helps communities and supports employees.

His oversight includes the employee Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and the Asian, Black, Hispanic and LGBT+ Executive Forums, Global Supplier Diversity, and the firmwide D&I programs ― Advancing Black Leaders, Advancing Black Pathways, Military & Veterans Affairs, the Office of Disability Inclusion and Women on the Move.

Brian joins us from Fifth Third Bank where his career spanned more than 13 years. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President and head of Retail Banking. His prior roles included head of Wealth & Asset Management and Chief Corporate Responsibility & Reputation Officer, where he was responsible for the comprehensive strategic framework of the Bank’s civic commitments and reputation management. This included oversight of multiple areas including Community Economic Development, the Bank’s Community Development Corporation, Corporate Communications, Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility, and Ethics.

Throughout his career, Brian has remained passionate about diversity and inclusion. Notably, he partnered with the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to launch a $30 billion community commitment that focused on access to capital for small businesses, first-time home ownership and educational opportunities for underserved communities.

Brian serves as vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida and has received numerous accolades. Preserve Vision Florida, named him as its 2020 Person of Vision and he was also named a Man of Honor in Cincinnati in 2019 — celebrating African American men who make a difference in the community. In 2018, he was named to Savoy Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America and in 2016 was named to the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame.

Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the University of South Florida. He is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate Banking School at the University of Pennsylvania. Brian currently lives in Ohio with his wife Paulette and 3 children.