Nov 20, 2020 - Economy & Business

The next steps in Bank of America's $1 billion pledge to fight inequality

Photo: Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Earlier this year, Bank of America committed to spending $1 billion over four years to address racial and income inequality in America, as a reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality took hold of the country. It said in September it would set aside $25 million of that initial sum for jobs initiatives in Black and Hispanic/Latino communities.

Driving the news: Now, we know the bank is giving $1 million to each of 21 colleges and universities with large populations of Black and Latino students: HBCU Morgan State University, St. Louis Community College and the University of Puerto Rico's Río Piedras campus — to name a few.

  • The universities will use the money to create (or expand) job training programs.
  • Bank of America says it will work with local employers to match the training with potential jobs.

That leaves $4 million, which will go to partners to help carry out the program over the next four years, per a spokesperson.

  • $1 million will go to the Aspen Institute, which is in turn collaborating with the National Center for Inquiry and Improvement, to help with "technical and programmatic assistance."
  • The other $3 million is being put aside for other potential partners.

Why it matters: The backlash against the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others pushed corporate America to commit billions of dollars to causes that combat racial inequality — more money than ever before.

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