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Greenville Business Magazine

Bank of America Names Soteria Community Development Corporation as Its Inaugural Neighborhood Champion in the Upstate

Nov 25, 2019 03:06PM ● By Lori Coon

 Greenville, SC — Bank of America today announced the launch of its Neighborhood Champions program in the Upstate, naming Soteria Community Development Corporation as its inaugural awardee. Neighborhood Champions supports the role strong nonprofit leaders play in advancing economic mobility, and is an extension of the bank’s signature philanthropic initiative, Neighborhood Builders, the largest corporate philanthropic investment in nonprofit leadership in the country. Alongside the Upstate, the bank will bring the program to 40 communities across the U.S. this fall as part of its commitment to investing in the long-term health of communities. As part of the program, Soteria will receive $50,000 in grant support and an opportunity for engagement in virtual leadership training delivered by experts in the nonprofit sector. Soteria Community Development Corporation advocates for economic and social justice for those and their families impacted by the criminal justice system. They work to create opportunities for previously incarcerated men to reenter society through transitional housing, life skills, and job training. “We’re thrilled to bring the Neighborhood Champions program to our community,” said Stacy Brandon, Bank of America Market President for Upstate SC. “Through flexible funding and leadership resources, partners like Soteria Community Development Corporation have the power to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helps them make even greater strides to help individuals to reach their full potential.” The Neighborhood Champions program is invitation-only for nonprofits who are poised to take their work to the next level. Leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardee. Examples of the topics for the virtual leadership training awarded include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling. "It's an honor to partner with Bank of America to invest in the lives of those in our low-wealth communities and propel economic mobility in Greenville County," said Jerry Blassingame, Executive Director, Soteria Community Development Corporation. Bank of America is committed to creating economically and socially vibrant communities in the Upstate. Last year, Bank of America gave over $530,000 to support economic mobility through workforce development, affordable housing and basic human needs. During this same time period, the Bank’s employees contributed more than 5000 volunteer hours and personally gave $130,000, which was matched by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. Bank of America At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.