Bank of America is committing $1 billion over the next four years to help communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank said the programs will be focused on assisting people and communities of color that have experienced a greater impact from the health crisis. The Charlotte-based bank listed health, job training, support for small businesses and housing as the focuses.
"Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic," CEO Brian Moynihan said in a prepared statement.
Moynihan referred to civil unrest around the country, including in Charlotte, in response to the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Those disturbances come on the heels of over 100,000 deaths nationwide from the novel coronavirus.
"The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live," Moynihan said. "We all need to do more."
In a message sent to all Bank of America employees, Moynihan emphasized the responsibility the bank has to "help address important societal priorities."
Moynihan said this is something that must be addressed quickly: "A sense of true urgency has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in multiple communities where we work and live. We all need to do more, and we need to do it more quickly."
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