Bank of America today announced a $1.5 million commitment as part of its work to advance racial equality and economic opportunity in Massachusetts. King Boston, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in Boston, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, which offers support and assistance to the state’s 52 community health centers, will both receive funding. The grant funding is aligned to the bank’s $1.25 billion, five-year commitment, which further accelerates work already underway to address racial inequality and catalyze similar efforts across the private sector.
King Boston, founded in 2017 to create a memorial and related programming honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King’s legacy, will receive a $1 million grant from Bank of America. The grant will support: the creation of the memorial, named The Embrace, on the Boston Common; a new Center for Economic Justice in Nubian Square to promote solutions to further racial and economic justice; and a public ideas series that engages the community in anti-racist discourse through the arts and humanities.
“It is with generous contributions from large, established institutions that we are able to interrogate racism and advocate for the issues that Dr. and Mrs. King fought for over 50 years ago – wealth, housing, racial equity and public education,” said Imari Paris Jeffries, executive director of King Boston. “Thanks to our corporate partners like Bank of America for investing in change, and for their ongoing commitment to everything King Boston represents – convening, learning, healing, appreciating and honoring.”
The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, which together serves more than one million people across the state, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from Bank of America to address critical health equity concerns with COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The state’s community health centers are uniquely positioned in communities of color to address these gaps as the vaccine rollout expands and accelerates.
“Bank of America’s generous contribution recognizes the need for both an urgent infusion of funds and support for building longer-term responses to inequities. Immediate funding will go far in helping us meet expanding demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in the communities we serve – the same communities that have been unduly battered by the pandemic,” said Michael Curry, President & CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. “At the same time, the flexibility of this funding will give us room to respond to community-specific needs and support social, health and economic recovery as we work our way out of this pandemic.”
“The health and humanitarian crisis has demonstrated just how far we have to go in correcting longstanding inequities in our society,” said Miceal Chamberlain, President of Bank of America Massachusetts. “The time for action is upon us and our hope is that by continuing to take specific steps to address economic and racial disparities, we can serve as a catalyst for a broader response across the private sector.”
To date, the bank has made more than $350 million in various investments from its initial $1 billion commitment, announced in June 2020, across the primary focus areas of health, jobs/reskilling, affordable housing and small business, including providing support to Pine Street Inn, Innovation Studio, Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, La Colaborativa and Asian American Civic Association locally in Boston.
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Carla Molina, Bank of America