PNC Foundation Commits $600,000 To The Center For Urban Families and Coppin State University In Baltimore

Support to help support economic empowerment of African Americans, low- and moderate-income communities

BALTIMORE, Sept. 1, 2021 – The PNC Foundation locally has committed $300,000 to the Center for Urban Families (CFUF) and $300,000 to Coppin State University over a three-year period, as part of the financial institution’s broader commitment to provide more than commit $1 billion to help end systemic racism and support the economic empowerment of African Americans and low- and moderate-income communities.

“As a Main Street bank, PNC is dedicated to enriching the lives of people we meet every day and we are happy to continue our partnership with Center for Urban Families and Coppin State University to create a more inclusive economy, ” said Laura Gamble, PNC regional president for Greater Maryland. “PNC has a history of investing in our communities and the people who live in these communities to help them become self-sufficient. Now, through these two initiatives we are also going to make a positive impact through employee volunteerism.” 

Specifically, over the three-year period, funding will support CFUF’s family stability programs in low-income communities throughout Baltimore, with the primary focus on their education programming: 

  • STRIVE® Baltimore, a four-week job readiness training program;
  • Back to Business (B2B), a three-day job readiness refresher training;
  • Baltimore BOOST, a partnership with Baltimore City Community College that provides low-income individuals with targeted training and education, and job placement retention support;
  • Baltimore Responsible Fatherhood Project, a three-week training integrated into STRIVE® Baltimore to assist non-custodial fathers with increasing and building their fatherhood knowledge and skills; and,
  • Homebuying Assistance Program that connects participants to homeownership counseling, inclusive of financial education and provides financial assistance to pay for closing costs and/or down payment assistance

“We are living in unprecedented times that are challenging our collective ability to fight systemic racism against a backdrop of a global pandemic and acute political strife,” said Joseph Jones, Center for Urban Families founder, president and chief executive officer. “The battle against system racism is being waged on several fronts, including in communities of color that rarely receive significant corporate investment. The Center for Urban Families is honored to be a recipient of a major investment from PNC in support of our efforts to promote social justice and dismantle poverty in West Baltimore.” 

Coppin State University, through its College of Business, is positioning a unique suite of community-facing programs. A new program, Partners in Education, will offer direct services for children in BCPSS classrooms within the West Baltimore community. The college has a passion for addressing gaps beyond K-12 in the entrepreneurship ecosystem and creating/providing access to small business resources supporting community innovation in the nontraditional sector, specifically entrepreneurial activity, which offers the best opportunities for underserved communities to change their trajectory for many generations to come. In parallel, an immediate response to the post-pandemic uncertainty in West Baltimore will offer more opportunities for research required to implement effective evidence-based program models with the focus on supporting distressed communities affected by the coronavirus and their transition to community normalization.

“We are excited about the relationship with PNC,” said Sadie R. Gregory, interim dean of the College of Business, Coppin State University. “Our shared pillars: education, entrepreneurship, and economic development will support addressing the wealth gap in West Baltimore. This relationship will strengthen our efforts to deliver entrepreneurship training and financial education to the community. We see opportunities for student service learning and evidence-based research; supporting the mission of Coppin State University.”

PNC, which has a long history of supporting economic empowerment effort, most recently announced a Community Benefits Plan to provide $88 Billion in loans, investments and other financial support to bolster economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities, people and communities of color, and other underserved individuals and communities over a four-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2022. 

PNC is committed to addressing systemic racism, promoting social justice and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, not just within PNC, but within the broader financial system and our communities. We do so by building on our Main Street business model, which is focused on ensuring that we become part of the communities that we serve. 

PNC also has earned an “Outstanding” rating under the Community Reinvestment Act since those examinations began more than 40 years ago, and has been nationally recognized for the impact of PNC Grow Up Great®, a bilingual multi-year initiative launched in 2004 that helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life, with a particular emphasis on helping children, families and others in diverse and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

The Center for Urban Families core mission is to strengthen urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success. 

Coppin State University, a historically Black institution in a dynamic urban setting, serves a multi-generational student population and provides education opportunities while promoting lifelong learning. The university fosters leadership, social responsibility, civic and community engagement, cultural diversity and inclusion, and economic development.

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit