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Fueling Economic and Social Progress in Seattle | Sponsored

A thought leadership piece from Bank of America

By Kerri Schroeder November 7, 2019


This post is sponsored.

Sponsored by Bank of America

As part of our commitment to responsible growth, Bank of America invests in the communities we serve through programs and partnerships that address complex societal challenges.

Our Neighborhood Builders program is one example of our long-standing commitment to advance economic mobility and build a network of nonprofit leadership to help the Puget Sound region thrive.

For more than 15 years, our Neighborhood Builder awardees in the greater Seattle market have led the charge to address our regions toughest issues related to economic mobilityfrom workforce readiness and basic needs to broader community development issues like affordable housing solutions.

Each organization receives $200,000 in unrestricted funding, and as we continue to champion community sustainability through Neighborhood Builders, we recognize the growing need to foster diverse leadership in the nonprofit sector. Were proud that the program also helps develop emerging nonprofit executives who can further advance equity and inclusion in the communities we serve.

This year, we recognize White Center Community Development Association for its efforts to promote a vibrant neighborhood and high quality of life for residents in White Center through the development of authentic leadership opportunies, small business support and preservation, and community-led neighborhood initiatives that help address basic needs across this diverse community.

Bank of Americas investment helps us build our support to immigrant, women and people of color-owned small business enterprises and eliminates the achievement and opportunity gap for children of color, said Sili Savusa, White Center CDA executive director. Bank of America shares our vision of a community in which people of all incomes and backgrounds can share in the opportunity and prosperity of our region. We are so grateful to them for helping us bring that vision to reality.

Our second recipient, OneAmerica, advances the fundamental principles of democracy by building power within immigrant communities in collaboration with key allies, bringing forward the voices of those most marginalized in society due to immigration status, language ability, race, ethnicity, income, gender and religious identity.

Displacement due to rising land values and rent is one of the most pressing issues facing immigrant and refugee business owners in our region, said Rich Stolz, OneAmerica executive director. “At the same time, underrepresented communities are working to shape a workforce development system that better meets the needs of individuals facing barriers to employment and opportunity, like language access, transferring foreign credentials, and building marketable skills in a rapidly changing economy. OneAmerica will use these funds to invest in our staff and expand our capacity to develop a series of policy briefs on strategies to strengthen state and regional workforce development systems and to ensure that those most impacted by these issues are shaping solutions grounded in their aspirations and experience.

Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities and builds cross-sector partnerships, advancing economic and social progress as part of our approach to responsible growth.

About the author: Kerri Schroeder is Bank of Americas Seattle market president. For more information on the banks impact in Seattle, visit

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