Nonprofits meeting the needs of communities of color received grants from the Bank of America. (Courtesy photo)

As part of its commitment to strengthening communities by addressing critical needs that help advance racial equality and economic opportunity, Bank of America has awarded $11 million to 174 local nonprofits across greater Los Angeles last year.

The majority of the grants supported communities of color and other disadvantaged populations disproportionately impacted by the prolonged pandemic.

With a particular focus on closing the equity and wealth gaps in communities of color, Bank of America’s 2021 local giving in was directed to alleviate the impacts of racial and economic inequality by funding programs and resources that create pathways to employment, address basic needs such as hunger, healthcare, emergency shelter and affordable housing.

These philanthropic investments include:

  • Workforce development grants to Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) to help the hospital recruit, trainand hire more than 200 new health care professionals from local neighborhoods; and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Careers in Health and Mentorship Program (CHAMP) that provides training and mentorship to 15-30 local young adults annually for entry-level careers in health administration.
  • Basic Needs grant to The Midnight Mission to expand its counseling, shelter and hygiene services for homeless and low-income individuals and families as homelessness skyrocketed due to the pandemic;
  • Community Development grant to Abode Communities, Southern California’s longest established affordable housing provider, for thousands of new affordable housing units for low income families displaced by the pandemic, seniors and Transition Age Youth that includes self-sufficiency skills to break the cycle of homelessness.

In addition to philanthropic capital, Bank of America also donated nearly 725,000 Personal Protection Equipment including masks, gloves and bottles of sanitizer; partnered with five local nonprofits to distribute free CVS Health flu vaccine vouchers in underserved communities; and local employees volunteered approximately 30,000 hours back to the community last year.

Bank of America awarded L.A. Trade Technical College with a grant to assist students in training for viable careers. (Courtesy photo)

“While the pandemic has taken a toll on us all, there’s no doubt it has had a disproportionate impact on the communities already grappling with the effects of economic and social inequality. The private sector has a responsibility to provide support that can serve as a catalyst to help advance equity and economic opportunity for everyone,” said Raul A. Anaya, president, Bank of America Los Angeles.

Other nonprofits receiving grants include A Place Called Home, Greater L.A. African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC), Brotherhood Crusade, Los Angeles Urban League, Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation, Taste of Soul, Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation, West Angeles Community Development Corporation, Everytable, L.A. Regional Food Bank, Los Angeles Trade Technical College and St John’s Well Child and Family Center.

As an essential business, Bank of America also invested in the health and economic stability of its own teammates this year by raising its minimum hourly pay to $21 as a next step in the company’s plans to increase hourly pay to $25 by 2025.

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