Actor, director, producer, and community activist Jesse Williams has become an investor in Greenwood, a new digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners.
While Williams is known by many for his role on the long-running ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” he also has been an activist for humanitarian and racial justice causes. Williams won the BET Humanitarian Award in 2016 and an NAACP Image Award in 2019. He is involved with multiple organizations focused on racial justice.
“I’m excited to join the Greenwood team and work to advance economic prosperity for people of color,” said Williams. “The time has come for Black and Latinx communities in America to strengthen our economic condition and influence. By increasing access to essential banking services and financial education, Greenwood is a key part of that movement.”
Greenwood founders include Andrew J. Young, civil rights legend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Mayor of Atlanta; Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, rapper and activist in Black financial empowerment; and Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman and founder of Bounce TV network. Just a month after launching the company, more than 200,000 people have joined the Greenwood community and the waiting list for Greenwood’s digital banking platform. This growth makes Greenwood one of the most successful launches in the history of the financial services industry.
“Jesse Williams has long been a voice for equality and opportunity,” said Ryan Glover. “We are thrilled to have the chance to work with him. He is a perfect fit for the mission of Greenwood.”
Greenwood and Williams have produced a series of videos about the financial empowerment movement. The first spot, titled “You Ready,” available at www.bankgreenwood.com/you-ready, posts to Greenwood’s social media channels today. All the videos were produced, directed and staffed by a nearly all-Black cast and crew and feature a number of Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and Black- and Latinx-owned businesses. In addition, the videos were executive produced by Ri-Karlo Handy, who has become a vocal advocate for Black equity in Hollywood. The spots were scored by noted artist, songwriter and producer Johnta Austin.
Greenwood’s initial product is a debit card and account that comes with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features are included, such as Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations with no hidden fees. Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash rewards as a thank you from Greenwood. All deposits will be FDIC-insured by a partner bank. Additionally, Greenwood plans to provide deposits to help strengthen historically Black banks.
The Greenwood name pays homage to the prosperous “Black Wall Street,” part of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early 20th Century – a center of African American enterprise, entertainment, skills, wealth and investment capital. Though it was destroyed by white mobs in 1921, the Greenwood District remains an enduring symbol of the economic potential of community solidarity.