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Bank of America Expands Support of Special Olympics, Reinforces Commitment to Inclusion

Bank of America Will Support Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Initiatives, Special Olympics USA and the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle

Thursday, July 14, 2016 10:00 am EDT

Dateline:

Charlotte, N.C.
"We are thrilled to announce their expanded commitment to Special Olympics USA and to our upcoming 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. Additionally, by fostering our Athlete Leadership initiatives, Bank of America is giving our athletes more opportunities to have a voice for change in their local communities."

Special Olympics and Bank of America announced today an expanded strategic sponsorship through 2018. This extension builds on more than 30 years of support between the organizations and reinforces Bank of America’s commitment to fostering inclusion. As part of the agreement, Bank of America will serve as a premier partner for Special Olympics USA, as well as an official financial services partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. The company will also support Athlete Leadership initiatives across the country.

“Our long-standing relationship with Special Olympics is a demonstration of our company’s belief that diverse and inclusive communities are stronger communities,” said Anne Finucane, Bank of America vice chairman and a member of the Special Olympics International Board of Directors. “Our focus on fostering diversity and inclusion as a way to promote understanding and dialogue starts with our own employee programs and extends through our partnership with organizations like Special Olympics that share this goal.” 

“Our relationship with Bank of America has spanned over three decades of dedicated support, and in that time, they have significantly helped empower people with intellectual disabilities through their employee engagement efforts and focus on diversity and inclusion, thereby creating more inclusive communities where people are truly living and playing unified,” said Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis. “We are thrilled to announce their expanded commitment to Special Olympics USA and to our upcoming 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle. Additionally, by fostering our Athlete Leadership initiatives, Bank of America is giving our athletes more opportunities to have a voice for change in their local communities.”

Funding from Bank of America will support:

  • Leadership Excellence: Bank of America will continue to support Athlete Leadership through local, regional and global programs including athlete councils, regional trainings, local program grant support and the Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers.

  • Special Olympics 2018 USA Games in Seattle: Bank of America will serve as an official financial services partner of the Games. See announcement.

  • Special Olympics USA: Bank of America will serve as a premier supporter and an official financial services partner of the Special Olympics USA national teams competing in the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria 2017.

 

Strategic partnership extends 30-year relationship

As a long-standing supporter, Bank of America, through the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, has given more than $14 million to support Special Olympics through local and national philanthropic giving, as well as matching individual employee donations. Employees have also contributed countless volunteer hours in support of Special Olympics. Last year alone, 4,500 Bank of America employees volunteered nearly 30,000 hours to support activities leading up to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The bank was recently honored by ESPN as the 2016 recipient of its inaugural Corporate Community Impact Award, which acknowledges a corporation that uses the power of sports to help advance a social issue, cause or community organization. The bank was recognized for its sponsorship of the 2015 Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America, and as part of the award, will direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to Special Olympics.    

Commitment to diversity and inclusion

Our continued support of Special Olympics is a further demonstration of our commitment to diversity and inclusion and fostering a workplace and communities where all people, viewpoints and experiences can thrive. This commitment is clear across the company, including our support for people with disabilities. Our dedicated staffing teams and partners attract people with disabilities to careers with the bank, and our accommodations support teams provide reasonable accommodations so employees can be successful in their jobs. Our Support Services division employs more than 300 individuals with disabilities to provide key fulfillment and printing services. Our Disability Advocacy Network, one of our 11 Employee Networks, connects our employees and fosters a work environment that accepts, values, respects and supports those affected by disabilities. Our support also extends externally in how we support our customers, providing equal financial center access to all customers, including the use of mobility devices and service animals in retail locations, providing accommodations through auxiliary aids and services at no charge, and offering talking ATMs to deliver private spoken instructions to help customers complete their transactions.

 

Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.5 million athletes in nearly 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.4 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter@specialolympics, fb.com/specialolympics, youtube.com/specialolympicshq, instagram.com/specialolympics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors – including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as nonprofits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at http://www.bankofamerica.com/about and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.

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Reporters May Contact:
Fiona Hill, Bank of America, 1.917.757.5905
fiona.a.hill@bankofamerica.com

Christy Weir, Special Olympics, 1.202.824.0307
cweir@specialolympics.org