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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

An NAACP Alum Joins an ETF Startup

Reported by Lauren Corradi

An NAACP alumnus is joining at ETF startup in Texas.

Marvin Owens, former senior director of economic development at the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), joined Dallas-based Impact Shares as chief engagement officer. Impact Shares lays claim to being the first 501(c)(3) non-profit exchange-trade fund platform.

Created in collaboration with the NAACP, Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NACP) is designed to provide exposure to U.S. companies with strong racial and ethnic diversity policies in place, in an attempt to empower employees regardless of their race or nationality.

A spokesperson for NAACP did not immediately return a call for comment.

"This is a watershed moment for investing in social advocacy," stated Ethan Powell, president and founder of Impact Shares. "Under Marvin's leadership and with the ongoing financial support from partners such as The Rockefeller Foundation, investors will continue to have the opportunity to build long-term engagement on key social issues such as racial equality, and ultimately make meaningful change in the private sector."

In an attempt to make NACP more accessible to investors, Impact Shares is reimbursing NACP for certain expenses excluded from Impact Shares' advisory fee to reduce NACP's net expense ratio.

"The capital markets are a powerful tool for investors to raise their voice on social issues," stated Owens. "I look forward to working more closely with investors to challenge corporate America to follow through on their public commitments and make tangible changes to stand against racial discrimination."

A Harvard University and Jarvis Christian College alumnus, Ownes has served at Magen Development Group for more than eight years as managing director. Prior to joining Impact Shares, he served at NAACP for more than four years as deputy chief development officer, corporate relations; and senior director, economic programs. Before that, Owens served at Genesis Development Group for more than three years as managing director. Owens also served at National Urban League for more than five years, as well as Williamsburg Community Services for two years as vice president and executive director, respectively. For the past decade, Owens has also served at Michigan Park Christian Church as senior pastor. 

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