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PWCC BOA Press Release

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Bank of America and Phyllis Wheatley Community Center to Support North Minneapolis Residents with Covid-19 Resources and Emergent Services

African American communities have increased exposure to COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (OCTOBER 30, 2020) — Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) has received a grant from Bank of America to support COVID-19 emergent services in the African American community in North Minneapolis.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, Black Minnesotans are testing positive for COVID-19 at a rate of four times higher than white Minnesotans.

With the support of Bank of America, PWCC will be able to provide direct support services to North Minneapolis residents, with a focus on those who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 including essential workers and the unemployed.

The direct support services provided by PWCC include: medical and preventive health care services; COVID-19 community testing sites; childcare, groceries and prepared meals for essential workers; and other emergent services.

PWCC’s Executive Director, Suzanne Fuller Burks shared, “With this grant, PWCC will be able to grow and evolve our emergent services program for families in the community during the pandemic. Bank of America’s $50,000 gift will enable us to make a difference in the lives of families who really need the support.”

“The Phyllis Wheatley Community Center is a resource that the families of North Minneapolis have come to rely on for almost 100 years,” said Katie Simpson, Twin Cities Market President for Bank of America. “We are happy to support PWCC so that they can support these families who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.”

PWCC is located in the north Minneapolis community, which is comprised of 88% people of color. According to the Minneapolis Health Department, over 62% have a high school diploma or less, 75% are below 200% of poverty, and 24% are unemployed. Most PWCC families are earning wages below poverty guidelines, so we provide additional support, including access to housing, childcare, and financial assistance. During this pandemic crisis, PWCC is continuing to provide outreach and support to the children, youth, adults, and families in which we have built relationships. These individuals and families cannot afford to lose any more ground due to this crisis. Additionally, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, “in 2017, African Americans were 20% more likely to die from heart disease and asthma than non-Hispanic whites.

African American women were 60% more likely to have high blood pressure, as compared to non-Hispanic white women.” Coupled with our current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are significant health disparities present in our PWCC community.

About Phyllis Wheatley Community Center

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC) has proudly served the Minneapolis Community since 1924 with a mission to provide comprehensive quality programs in life-long learning, child development, and family support to the diverse greater Twin Cities community. PWCC was the first agency in the Twin Cities committed to meeting the human service needs of a growing African American community. For many Blacks, PWCC was a safe port in the midst of a racially segregated city. Today, PWCC programs address the needs of children, youth, and families by providing child development, family support, and innovative workforce development programming for the greater Minneapolis community. PWCC’s focus is on building upon a rich legacy of community building with a focus on addressing wealth, opportunity, and achievement gaps in the African American community. PWCC will celebrate its 100th year anniversary in 2024. For more information, visit: www.phylliswheatley.org.

PWCC media contact: Menia Buckner: [email protected], 612-977-3256

About 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. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

Bank of America media contact: Diane Wagner: [email protected], 312-992-2370