Bank of America has committed $25 million to launch a new giving initiative called Race, Community and Our Shared Future in partnership with the Smithsonian. The initiative will explore how Americans understand, experience and confront race, its impact on communities and how that impact is shaping the nation’s future.
“The threat of coronavirus and racial inequity have created a true sense of urgency that we must act on,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle market president at Bank of America. “Our commitments across all of the communities we serve, and to organizations like the Smithsonian, support conversations that can advance economic and social progress. Now is the time for deeds and actions.”
The initiative uses Smithsonian’s vast resources from its museums, education and research complex to examine the historical context of today’s challenges, and frame conversations to build a more inclusive, sustainable future. It will launch with a series of virtual town hall conversations featuring global and national leaders in the areas of civil rights, social justice and economic mobility, including from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of the American Indian, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.
The programming aims to “confront our difficult history and to unite to bring healing and hope for our future,” according to Lonnie Bunch, secretary of the Smithsonian.
Bank of America’s $25 million commitment is part of the company’s recently announced $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance issues of racial equality, health care and economic opportunity in minority communities. On top of the $114 million Bank of America has deployed globally this year to address coronavirus, this new commitment builds on the $220 million the company provides annually in philanthropic grants to nonprofit organizations to advance greater economic mobility.
Learn more about the initiative here.