See it, Be it Role Model
John W. Rogers, Jr.
Founder and CEO Ariel Investments Chicago
Most children get toys for their birthdays and Christmas. John Rogers got stocks. So began his life-long passion for investing. He founded his firm 35 years ago on the core principles of diversity, civic engagement and financial literacy. In 1996, he founded the Ariel Community Academy, a K-8 public school on Chicago's South Side. Mr. Rogers believed the best way to overcome poverty was to introduce students to financial education early, so financial literacy and investing are part of the curriculum beginning in kindergarten.
Recognizing the school's pioneering work, President Barack Obama asked him to lead the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. In 2017, Mr. Rogers endowed the John W. Rogers, Jr. Internship Program in Finance at the University of Chicago, a first-of-its-kind program enabling low-income and racial and ethnic minority students to obtain paid internships at endowments, foundations and nonprofit investment houses, which are typically lacking in diversity.
But financial literacy isn't his only passion.
Since 2002, Ariel Investments has joined with Russell Reynolds in the Black Corporate Directors Conference to ensure that civil rights and diversity issues are considered in boardrooms throughout America and to push for lasting and meaningful change.
“I firmly believe companies (and their corporate boards) that embrace and cultivate diversity are more likely to attract the best talent and broaden their markets in profitable new ways,” Mr. Rogers said.
— Kathy J. Mills