By Joshua Burd
PGIM Real Estate has announced several new partnerships aimed at bolstering the firm’s commitment to supporting racial equity and social justice in the U.S.
The Prudential Financial real estate investment arm said recently that it has committed a total of $150,000 to five additional organizations: Operation HOPE, the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, Shelters to Shutters, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. The investment expands upon its existing multiyear engagements with organizations such as YouthBuild and KIPP, providing youth in underserved communities with better access to training, education and career opportunities within the real estate industry.
It also follows PGIM Real Estate’s recent appointment of Christy Lockridge, a 30-year industry veteran, as its first chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. The newly created DEI office, chaired by Lockridge, focuses on developing and implementing DEI strategy internally and externally for the $206.8 billion real estate investment and financing business.
“We are thrilled to announce these exciting new community partnerships that demonstrate our unwavering commitment to promoting values of equity and inclusion in the communities where we operate and live,” Lockridge said. “PGIM Real Estate has made its social and environmental consciousness clear with global ESG investments, and the decision to expand its community partnerships underscores the firm’s desire to support these values at home.”
In announcing the newest funding commitments, PGIM Real Estate described the organizations as follows:
- Operation HOPE, whose mission is to expand economic opportunity, making free enterprise work for everyone
- Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, an economic mobility engine for the community: driving Black entrepreneurs and small business owners to innovate, grow, create jobs and build wealth
- Shelters to Shutters, an organization dedicated to transition individuals and families experiencing homelessness to economic self-sufficiency by providing career training, employment and housing opportunities.
- Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, named after civil rights hero Ella Baker, which organizes with Black, Brown and low-income people to build power and prosperity in California communities
- New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which works to empower people of color by building reparative systems that create wealth, transform justice and harness democratic power — from the ground up — in New Jersey
Additionally, the firm said programming will aim to further educate PGIM Real Estate employees by driving awareness of each organization’s mission and encouraging volunteerism, ultimately maximizing benefit to each organization’s community through a tailored approach.