As communities across the country continue to adjust to the potential long-term effects of the coronavirus, many are focused on solving for underlying social issues such as poverty, access to medical services and lack of economic mobility. This is particularly true in communities of color. Since stay at home orders were issued in March, 41% of Black-owned and 32% of Hispanic-owned businesses have shuttered, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. What’s more, coronavirus-related hospitalization rates for Black, Native American and Hispanic individuals are four to five times higher than they are for whites.
To navigate through and recover from this health and humanitarian crisis, underserved communities need support from nonprofits, government agencies and the private sector. Recognizing that no one sector can solve the systemic issues that impede progress for underserved communities, Bank of America is working with partners to address immediate needs as well as longer term economic recovery of communities. Examples include the bank’s $100 million philanthropic commitment to local nonprofits addressing medical response, access to education, food insecurity and support of vulnerable populations impacted by the coronavirus. And in March 2021, the bank made a $1.25 billion, five-year commitment, spanning across the company, to address racial equality and economic opportunity, with a focus on advancing people and communities of color.
Below are examples of how local government, nonprofits and companies can partner to solve some of the challenges underserved communities face.
Grady Memorial Hospital is Atlanta, GA’s, largest safety-net hospital, serving a majority African American population. A $500,000 grant from Bank of America has helped Grady increase capacity for acute patient care, expand in-house coronavirus testing and develop a telehealth program to help individuals remotely.
Read a Q&A with Grady’s chief medical officer and chief of staff Robert Jansen, M.D., on how the hospital is adjusting to meet the needs of its patient community during the coronavirus.