Bank of America announced this week that it is investing an additional US$250 million in its racial equality and opportunity initiatives, in response to growing incidents of racism and violence against Asian Americans in the US. The funding will “further support investments to address racial justice, advocacy and equality for people and communities of color, including those of Asian descent”, according to the bank.
Some of the initiatives to be funded include grants for non-profits that work in the civil rights space, support for community advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and mental health and victim support resources.
The bank had initially launched a US$1 billion investment in June 2020, spread out over four years, to “help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by a global pandemic” according to its statement at the time. The commitment came amid massive protests against police violence following a number of widely publicized deaths of Black people in police custody.
At present, approximately US$350 million of the original amount has already been disbursed in the areas of health, jobs and reskilling, affordable housing, and small business.
Bank of America Chairman and CEO Brian Moynihan said of the additional investment: “Across the public and private sectors, it is clear that we must do more – to take action, help others convene, and serve as a catalyst for a broad-based, collective response to the critical issues affecting our nation.”
Corporate funding has poured towards racial justice and support for minority communities in the US since last year, with global companies such as PepsiCo, HP, and PayPal committing hundreds of millions of dollars to advance social causes ranging from education, to health, to criminal justice reform.