Sponsor Spotlight: Bank of America


In our Sponsor Spotlight series, CBI highlights our relationships with our sponsors, and the work they are doing to build a more equitable and just community within their own spheres of influence. Today’s Sponsor Spotlight focuses on Bank of America, whose support of CBI extends back to our very inception. We are grateful for Bank of America’s investment in our mission, and proud of their leadership in our community.


CBI’s mission for driving inclusivity within Charlotte aligns with the Bank of America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion both within the company and the communities it serves. Bank of America’s purpose is to make financial lives better through the power of every connection, and these connections are strengthened when it includes diverse perspectives to meet the needs of its clients and communities.


CBI was formed in response to a call to action from city, county and corporate leaders following racial protests and violence more than 20 years ago. Bank of America was one of the lead supporters of CBI when it was first a task force, before becoming a nonprofit organization. CBI had a unique position to convene disparate groups and bring expertise to enable candid dialogue and then impact change.


CBI’s leadership programs and broader programs, such as the Bus Tours, Stakeholders Breakfast and Equity Impact Circles, bring knowledge, skills and training to enable effective regional dialogue. Mutual understanding and empathy are vital for a healthy community and opportunity for all residents. Rooted in Charlotte’s racial history, CBI builds understanding at a community level by first engaging people as individuals for change. CBI works across the public and private sector with strong representation at the board level from the city, county, law enforcement, education, corporate, and nonprofit sectors.


Bank of America employees have been engaged with CBI through participation in Leaders Under 40 (LU40), Leadership Development Initiative (LDI), board service, Equity Impact Circles, and Community Bus Tours. Recognizing the value of CBI’s community commitment and connectivity efforts, Bank of America has maintained its financial support of CBI through grants and sponsorships. Strong corporate support for CBI signals to the Charlotte community that their mission is important and at the core of the city’s vision to be inclusive and equitable for all.


Bank of America has a long history of commitment to diversity and inclusion. Merrill signed the first bond saleswoman on Wall Street in 1919, and Bank of America was among the first to offer same-sex domestic partner benefits through its health and insurance plans in 1998. The company continually strives to do more, and its commitments have progressed and scaled over the years in response to the needs of its employees and community:

  • They’ve seen a 27% increase in people of color and a 24% increase in women in senior level management of the company since 2015.
  • In June 2020 the company announced a $1 billion, four-year initiative to accelerate work already underway to further strengthen economic opportunity, healthcare initiatives and racial equality. The particular focus in this effort is to create opportunity for people and communities of color. Part of that commitment includes $1 million each for 21 higher education institutions across the country, including Central Piedmont here in Charlotte, to create more sustainable wage jobs for regional Black and Hispanic/Latino students.
  • In 2020 Bank of America introduced guides and toolkits to help employees gain a greater understanding and appreciation for one another through open dialogue and conversations. This support encourages employees to both bring their authentic selves to work, embrace each other’s differences as well as be advocates and leaders during uncertain times. Through August, more than 165,000 employees have participated in more than 320 conversations in 2020 alone.


A diverse and inclusive workplace is one of many attributes that makes Bank of America a great place to work; where every employee is welcomed for who they are, given the support to build careers and are able to make a difference for their clients and in the communities they live. In addition to attracting diverse talent, the company also focuses on providing development resources to maintain an inclusive environment that supports everything that makes its colleagues unique and helps them grow professionally and personally. Customers, clients, and the communities they serve benefit from a commitment to diversity and inclusion. From sponsorships to the perspective they bring through their products and services, Bank of America’s culture advances business growth and contributes to meaningful social impact.


This Sponsor Spotlight is compiled based on responses from Jenny Ward, Senior Vice President, Community Relations Manager and Amanda Beacham, Senior Vice President, Community Relations Manager.

Sustaining Sponsors