Bank of America Increases Commitment to Advancing Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity to $ 1.25 Billion
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Bank of America announced today that it has increased its $ 1 billion, four-year commitment advance racial equality and economic opportunity to $ 1.25 billion over five years. This effort further accelerates the work already underway to address racial equality and opportunity through direct action, investment and work to catalyze similar efforts in the private sector.
To date, the company has made more than $ 350 million in various investments from its initial four-year $ 1 billion commitment, announced in June 2020, in its core areas of focus: healthcare, employment / requalification, affordable housing and small businesses. The additional funds announced today will further support investments aimed at addressing racial justice, advocacy and equality for people and communities of color, including those of Asian descent.
“The urgency we feel to tackle long-standing issues of inclusion and racial inequality has only increased following attacks and hate speech directed against Asians over the past year ” said Brian Moynihan, chief executive officer of Bank of America. “In the public and private sectors, it is clear that we need to do more – take action, help others come together and serve as a catalyst for a large-scale collective response to the critical issues affecting our nation.
The bank also announced an immediate commitment of $ 1 million and related actions in support of increased advocacy, dialogue and engagement with the Asian-American community. Further investments will be identified as part of the company’s broader five-year effort.
Immediate steps taken to help speed up and expand pre-existing work include:
A grant to the Asian Americans Advance Justice (Advancing Justice) to advance the work of the nonprofit organization to promote civil rights, spectator intervention, language advocacy, social service assistance and legal support. This funding supports five Asian American Advancing Justice affiliates based in Atlanta, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
The addition of Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, to become a member of Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council (NCAC), in support of ongoing dialogue and stakeholder engagement with the Asian community in the United States, and on broad gender and race issues. NCAC members engage with leaders on Bank of America’s business policies, practices and products in support of employees, customers and local communities.
Additional assistance for National Coalition for the Development of the Asia-Pacific American Community (National CAPACD) and The Leadership Conference Education Fund as both organizations strive to advance local community advocacy, training and resources through community efforts.
Increased philanthropic support through Bank of America Employee Matching Program. Bank of America employees can double their charitable donations to these three nonprofits and select others; the company’s minimum matching donation amount has been lowered to $ 1 for the next 90 days, to expand the impact of their support to the Asian community in the United States.
“The growing number of attacks on Asians, including the recent tragic shooting in Atlanta, has reminded us that we must stand united against discrimination, hate speech and violence, ”said Thong Nguyen, vice president of Bank of America. “We will not tolerate any act of racism in any form. Today’s commitment builds on Bank of America’s many years of working for inclusion and racial equality. ”
“Over the past year, we have seen an increase in racism and violence against Asian Americans, underscoring the significant need for tools and resources to combat them, as well as the need for resources. culturally specific when it comes to mental health and victim support, ”said Chung Joe. “We look forward to working with Bank of America and other national advocacy leaders to advance racial equity and create opportunity for all Americans. ”
Bank of America’s work to fight racial equity includes participating in the Business Roundtable’s new multi-year effort to improve equity, diversity and culture in the workplace, as well as the bank’s partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in support of its “Our Common Future: Taking Our Racial Past Into Account“initiative.
Within the company, Bank of America’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council includes senior executives from around the world and has been led by Moynihan for over a decade. The company also connects and supports employees through 11 employee and local networks, including the Asian Leadership Network with more than 11,000 members.
Broadening perspectives is a critical aspect of how Bank of America drives a culture of inclusion. Over the past decade, the company has hosted thousands of courageous conversations with employees, external partners and community members to cultivate awareness, inclusion and understanding. Recent sessions include an event hosted by Bank of America’s Asian Leadership Network regarding the alliance to address the current race relations climate in America, particularly in Asian and Black / African American communities.
Bank of America’s $ 350 million commitments since June 2020 include:
Bank of America also recently tripled its commitment to affordable homeownership in $ 15 billion until 2025 and issued a $ 2 billion Equality Progress Sustainable Development Bond designed to advance racial equality, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability. In 2020, the company provided $ 6.17 billion in affordable housing and economic development funding to help build strong and sustainable communities across the United States
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