Seven years ago, the Citi Foundation launched the Pathways to Progress initiative to help equip young people with the skills and experiences they need to forge a successful future in the long wake of the Great Recession – a time when youth endured the worst of the economic fallout. Since its inception, the Citi Foundation has already impacted the lives of more than one million young people around the world through $230 million of grant investments, providing them with the mentorship, entrepreneurship training, and work experience that not only build up resumes and CVs, but also their confidence.
By those measures, Pathways has been successful in positively affecting the economic opportunities of global youth by providing them with the building blocks they need to forge their careers. When it came time to strategize our next Pathways commitment in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we knew as a Foundation we needed to change our approach because the world itself demanded it. The pandemic brought with it a myriad of challenges that dramatically impacted the global economy. In the U.S., the calls for racial justice and equity louder are more urgent than ever, especially as young people, particularly young people of color, continued to bear the brunt.
In a time defined and driven by change, we know we have a responsibility to invest in the ideas and the people that propel equitable progress. With this in mind, the Foundation announced in September 2020 an additional $100 million investment in Pathways programming globally, with a focus of serving young people of color in the U.S.
In 2020, the Citi Foundation invested more than $12 million in programs in the U.S. that served over 30,000 young people of color. To continue this momentum, we are doubling down on our investments in community organizations that serve and represent communities of color. This includes our new investments in HBCUs, institutions that consistently serve and uplift young Black people in the U.S. and generate $14.8 billion in economic impact annually.
Here are some examples of the changemakers and the solutions that are central to our Pathways to Progress commitment:
While our support for these organizations, and all our Pathways grantees, is a step in the right direction, we at the Citi Foundation know this is just the beginning of a longer journey towards a fairer, more equitable future. To ensure Pathways to Progress continues to have the impact that we seek and meet the needs of our communities, we must continue to find new and innovative ways to back the visionaries that have been driving progress for generations.
To learn more about the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress work in support of our Action for Racial Equity commitments, visit the Foundation website.