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Bank of America names Columbia Urban League as Neighborhood Champion

by Carolina Panorama

Through a multi-year grant from Bank of America, programs that help address the region’s issues around economic opportunity and racial equality will be able to scale, helping even more people in our local community. The Columbia Urban League has been named as the 2021 Bank of America Neighborhood Champion for its work in the Columbia community addressing these issues.

As part of the program, Columbia Urban League will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector on topics like human capital management, increasing financial sustainability and storytelling.

The Columbia Urban League is a multi-service, non-profit agency that promotes financial stability and racial inclusion in the community. Its various programs are designed to provide both economic and educational opportunities for those in need. Such programs include education and youth empowerment; economic empowerment; health and quality of life empowerment; civic engagement and leadership empowerment; and civil rights and racial justice empowerment.

“We have a longstanding relationship with the Columbia Urban League and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition,” said Kim Wilkerson, president, Bank of America South Carolina. “Issues of racial equality and economic opportunity are deeply connected, and it’s important to remove the barriers to success and focus on areas where systemic, long-term gaps have existed. The Columbia Urban League is working to address those gaps to help individuals chart a path toward economic opportunity and stability.”

"We value our long-term partnership with Bank of America and are extremely grateful for receiving this year's Neighborhood Champion award to advance economic mobility,” said James T. McLawhorn, Jr., president and CEO of the Columbia Urban League. “This award will provide needed resources to support our efforts in promoting social justice and equity for underserved and disadvantaged African Americans and other individuals and communities."

Alongside Columbia, the bank will bring the program to over 42 additional communities across the U.S. this fall as part of its commitment to investing in the long-term health of communities. The Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits who are poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee.

The Neighborhood Champions program is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders®, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Since the program’s inception in 2019, Bank of America has invested $6.3 million in 126 organizations within 42 communities through the Neighborhood Champions program.

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