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National Urban League and Wells Fargo launch African American issues initiative

(November 6, 2009) The National Urban League announced that it has entered a three-year, multi-million dollar partnership with Wells Fargo to address challenges within the African American community, starting with a focus on sustainable housing and community stabilization.

The partnership was launched Nov. 5 during the National Urban League's Equal Opportunity Day dinner in New York. John Stumpf, president and CEO of Wells Fargo, is chairing the benefit event.

During its first year, the multi-faceted relationship will include grants to selected National Urban League affiliates for foreclosure counseling , technical assistance for foreclosure prevention programs, staff training on foreclosure counseling and a significant presence at National Urban League events -- including its annual conference. Wells Fargo's Hands on Banking financial education curriculum  -- which includes a focus on credit management -- also will be an integral part of the campaign.

"This partnership complements the National Urban League's outreach efforts to help homeowners in distress to remain in their homes and ultimately build viable communities," said Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. "The opportunity to pursue and preserve homeownership is a core component of the Urban League's Opportunity Compact, and is deeply embedded in our Economic Empowerment Agenda."

The three-year partnership builds on an initiative announced earlier this year between the National Urban League and Wells Fargo to co-sponsor a new edition of The Foreclosure Workbook: The Complete Guide to Understanding Foreclosure and Saving Your Home. The workbook, written by foreclosure author Carla Douglin, was distributed free-of-charge to at-risk consumers across the nation. A reprinting of this workbook will be part of the effort the two organizations will undertake over the next 12 months.

"Wells Fargo's vision has long been to help our customers succeed financially by helping them achieve and sustain homeownership," said Stumpf. "We believe in doing what is right for our customers, and that includes working with them when they encounter financial challenges or other hardships that make it difficult for them to afford their homes."

Earlier this year, Wells Fargo introduced Leading the Way HomeŽ, a multi-faceted initiative to stabilize housing, advance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods in cities hit hard by foreclosure. The new partnership also will include joint activities to tackle these issues.

The Urban League assists more than 400,000 people a year to secure homeownership maintain good credit and obtain monetary savings.

"Our partnership with the National Urban League is another important step in Wells Fargo's continued efforts to better serve our diverse communities in which we live and work," said Stumpf. "We want to satisfy our customers' financial needs, and this relationship will help us continue to do just that."

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