Bank of America Gives $1 Million Each to 21 Colleges in Racial-Equity Push

Bank of America Corp. is cutting checks of $1 million apiece to 21 universities and community colleges across the U.S. to help advance racial and economic equality.

The funds will go to several state schools with large numbers of Black and Latino students, including Baruch College in New York, Delaware State University and St. Louis Community College, the bank said Thursday.

Institutions will use the funds to develop or expand programs helping students complete education and job training for skills gaps in their communities. The bank will work with big employers in local areas to match training to prospective jobs.

“It was an intentional focus on public institutions,” said Ebony Thomas, an executive who runs the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank’s racial-equality and economic-opportunity initiatives. Donations are intended to “amplify and magnify those institutions, and continue to double down and create more of a career path and opportunity for those students in the labor market.”

Bank of America has pledged $1 billion over four years to advance racial equality, of which $300 million has already been allocated. It invested $50 million in 10 minority-focused lenders as part of that commitment.

“I think about the kid who is incredibly smart, who is so talented, who is hungry and is driven but doesn’t have the access,” Thomas said. “For me coming through a program similar to this almost 20 years ago, I can speak to how they can change lives.”

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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