CHARLOTTE – Bank of America announced a multi-year, $10 million commitment to Johnson C. Smith University.

The bank's pledge to JCSU is part of its $1.25 billion, five-year commitment announced last year to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity in local communities.

This commitment to JCSU is the latest in more than $25 million worth of recent contributions announced by Bank of America to support the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative in the Charlotte area.

Education is a gateway to a better life,” said Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte. “Our long-term relationship with JCSU has set the foundation for this critical moment – a collective partnership among the public and private sectors working to eliminate existing barriers by providing unique opportunities to JCSU students. Together, we will grow a strong pipeline of the next generation of leaders in our area and beyond.”

JCSU President Clarence Armbrister said its important for his institution to have strong academic programs to supply talent to Bank of America and other companies in the banking, finance and fintech industries.

This gift will allow us to strengthen and expand our business department programs and develop graduates who are prepared for the jobs of the future,” Armbrister said. “The funds will also be used to drive innovation in the development of entrepreneurs in their quests to create generational wealth and break through the limits that have been placed on their move up the ladder of economic mobility.”

Bank of America’s investments in support of the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative include:

Helping to close the digital divide by donating 10,000 Chromebooks for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students to use in their homes.

Pledging 10,000 volunteer hours to support local students during the current school year through tutoring, mentoring and in other ways.

Supporting a recently created investment firm, Bright Hope Capital LLC, which is providing dollars and leveraging decades of executive experience with an eye toward creating wealth and opportunities for Black- and Hispanic-owned businesses in the Charlotte region.

Committing multiple Leaders on Loan to the Charlotte community, a program for bank executives to help accelerate work at local organizations. This includes the dedication of one executive to help in implementing a part of the Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative.

Providing $6.5 million in below-market financing for economic development in the city’s corridors of opportunity.

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