June 2 (UPI) -- Bank of America said Tuesday it's giving $1 billion to address economic and racial inequality in the United States, amid national protests that have shaken just about every major U.S. city.
CEO Brian Moynihan said the initiative is a four-year effort and will focus on minority communities that have experienced great impact from the coronavirus pandemic and unrest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
"Underlying economic and social disparities that exist have accelerated and intensified during the global pandemic," Moynihan said in a statement.
"The events of the past week have created a sense of true urgency that has arisen across our nation, particularly in view of the racial injustices we have seen in the communities where we work and live. We all need to do more."
Black Americans account for 13 percent of the U.S. population but represent nearly a quarter of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths where race is known, according to the COVID Tracking Project. They have also been disproportionately affected by the economic fallout.
Bank of America said its initiative will address minority healthcare, jobs and training, support for small businesses and housing and will be coordinated by the institution's 90 market presidents.
Some of the funding will address coronavirus testing and telemedicine, partnerships with historically black colleges and universities, support for minority-owned small businesses and partnerships for job training.