Investing in our Black/African American community

It’s our people who make Bank of America what it is today. We realize the power of diversity and value all our differences. Thanks to our teammates, we are an inclusive company focused on responsible growth.

We are committed to investing in our Black/African American community, including supporting our Black/African American employees, delivering for our Black/African American clients, and helping advance thriving economies in the communities we serve.

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Investing in our employees

We are committed to recruit, retain and promote diverse talent to our company. We partner with more than 200 external organizations to identify diverse talent and in the U.S., we have joined forces with many colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to recruit our next generation of leaders. Our most recent campus recruiting class in the U.S. was more than 57% racially and ethnically diverse, with strong Black/African American representation that continues to grow.

 

Our Black Professional Group (BPG) was one of our first Employee Networks and now has more than 13,000 members in chapters across the U.S. BPG supports the recruitment, retention and promotion of Black/African American employees, offers mentoring to help develop leadership potential, and sponsors regular networking and virtual events.

 

We invest more than $1 million annually with third parties focused on advancing Black/African American talent, like Black Enterprise, Executive Leadership Council, National Association of Black Accountants and National Black MBA Association.
 

Our Diverse Leaders Sponsorship Program provides diverse talent (protégés) with senior leaders (sponsors) to help proactively identify and promote the visibility of diverse talent for the purpose of increasing representation and building robust diverse talent pipelines. In 2018, we expanded the program to include military veterans, LGBT+ and people with disabilities in addition to racially and ethnically diverse talent.

Learn more about our Employee Networks
Richard Nichols, Jr.

On servant leadership

Richard Nichols, Jr., South Atlantic Division Executive of Bank of America Private Bank, was recently inducted into the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC is one of the most prestigious organizations in the U.S. committed to developing Black/African American leaders and increasing the number of global Black/African American leaders in c-suite roles and on corporate boards. Richard is now amongst several Bank of America leaders who are members of ELC: Patrick Carey, D. Steve Boland, Cynthia Bowman, Tiffany Eubanks-Saunders and Ather Williams.

 

“This is a great honor that is only possible through the support of both my professional and personal family. They have encouraged me year after year to be a servant leader. Inclusion in the ELC is a reminder that we can achieve greater things by serving each other along the way.”

Black History Month: A time to reflect

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the history, achievements and contributions of Black/African Americans and their role in U.S. history and at Bank of America. As a global company, our workforce reflects the communities where we live and work, and we know that these diverse backgrounds and experiences make Bank of America a great place to work, and strengthen our client offering.

To commemorate Black History Month, our Black Professional Group (BPG) hosts a number of virtual and in-person events across the country. Highlights from 2019 include:

  • Boston: Employees enjoyed open access to The Museum of African American History. The event featured remarks from the Market President’s office and BPG Boston, followed by a networking reception.
  • Charlotte: BPG Charlotte, in partnership with LEAD for Women, kicked off Black History Month with a panel discussion about creating a more inclusive workforce. BPG Charlotte also hosted a private exhibit viewing and networking reception at the Harvey B. Gantt Center in partnership with the Global Technology & Operations Black Leadership Advisory Council.
  • Los Angeles: BPG SoCal hosted a panel event titled Economic Prosperity – Past, Present & Future at the San Antonia Winery.
Mark Bennett

The importance of recognizing Black History Month

“Each year, I study a different leader from the Civil Rights Movement, to ensure accomplishments achieved by these leaders don’t go unnoticed, which serves as an annual reminder to pay it forward. I believe that if you continue to model the way and share your inspired vision, your journey will encourage the hearts of others to do great things.” - Mark Bennett, Business Banking Market Executive, North Florida, South Georgia and Gulf Coast and enterprise co-leader of BPG

Supporting community, arts and culture

We have longstanding national and local partnerships with nonprofits that serve the Black/African American community. We invested $28 million in 2018 alone to advance issues of economic mobility and social justice, working with a range of nonprofits in local communities that serve the Black/African American community, including nonprofit awards through Neighborhood Builders®, our signature philanthropic program.

Our partners include the United Negro College Fund as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and National Urban League (NUL), which both serve on our National Community Advisory Committee.

Through our sponsorships, we’re proud to help bring to our employees, clients and the public important programs that examine key periods and events that have shaped American history:

  • In 2013, in honor of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, we sponsored the first uninterrupted replay of the original film recording.
  • In 2016, as part of our ongoing relationship with PBS, we sponsored “Jackie Robinson” and “Black America since MLK: And Still I Rise” by renowned American filmmakers Ken Burns and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., respectively.    
  • In 2018, to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we hosted a screening for clients and employees of the HBO documentary “King in the Wilderness” which focuses on the last 18 months of Dr. King’s life.
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Honoring the past and marching towards the future

Bank of America is a Founding Member of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture contributing more than $1.4 million over the past five years.
 

It is the only national museum dedicated to the African American experience, with interactive exhibits, that bring to life the optimism, struggle, spirituality and resiliency in a culture that has played such an integral role in the shaping of America.

Recognition