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Citi CFO Mark Mason: Philanthropy alone won’t solve racial injustice

Donating to organizations that fight racial injustice is not enough, says Mark Mason, the chief financial officer of Citi, which last month announced a $1 billion initiative to close the racial wealth gap.

“It’s more than just philanthropic giving that is necessary to really really have an impact,” Mason said at the Fast Company Innovation Festival today.

In the event on the virtual main stage, Mason called philanthropic donations “critically important,” but said Black communities, Black entrepreneurs, and Black community organizations cannot bridge the gap without business tools, like infusions of capital, opportunities to earn revenue, and access to credit. Mason is the only Black member of Citi’s executive team.

Citi’s three-year program includes $50 million in investment capital for Black entrepreneurs, who currently receive less than 1% of venture capital funding, and $100 million to support minority depository institutions’ growth.

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