Bank of America Honors Phipps Neighborhoods and the Classical Theatre of Harlem

Phipps Neighborhoods and Classical Theatre of Harlem Honored as 2019 Neighborhood Builders Recipients; Education Matters Africa Foundation Granted Funds to Provide Education to Students in Zimbabwe

Phipps Neighborhoods and the Classical Theatre of Harlem have been named as the 2019 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees for New York City. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the New York City area to address issues fundamental to economic mobility such as workforce development and arts and culture through Phipps Neighborhoods and the Classical Theatre of Harlem, respectively. In addition, the Education Matters Africa Foundation, which provides education and career development opportunities to students in Africa, became one of 13 employee-championed nonprofits to receive a grant after Bank of America asked its employees: “What would you like the power to do?”

“We recognize the power of our community partners and are delighted to be able to build on it through the strength of our Neighborhood Builders® program and the engagement of our employees,” said Anne Walker, Bank of America New York City market president. “With our support, these organizations can make an even greater impact on overcoming poverty, supporting the arts and increasing access to higher education. Bank of America is committed to economic mobility in New York City and beyond, and these organizations exemplify this mission.”

Neighborhood Builders: Phipps Neighborhoods & The Classical Theatre of Harlem

As Neighborhood Builders awardees, both Phipps Neighborhoods and the Classical Theatre of Harlem will receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader at the organization, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Over the past 15 years, Bank of America has invested $240 million in 49 communities through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,000 nonprofits and helping more than 2,000 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills. The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and leading members of the community participated in a collaborative selection process to identify this year’s awardees. Examples of the leadership training topics include human capital management, increasing financial sustainability, and storytelling.

Phipps Neighborhoods is a nonprofit in the South Bronx that helps children and families in historically disadvantaged neighborhoods overcome poverty. The nonprofit takes a unique place-based approach, choosing to focus on communities as a whole. Phipps Neighborhoods provides a springboard for success by supporting people of all ages to succeed through access to high-quality education, career programs, and community services.

“Phipps Neighborhoods is dedicated to ending the cycle of poverty for children, youth, and families in the South Bronx. We are thankful to Bank of America for selecting our organization as a 2019 Neighborhood Builder. These funds will be used to support Phipps Neighborhoods’ Career Network: Healthcare program, an innovative design created with lead partners Hostos Community College and Montefiore Health Systems to connect our communities’ youth with career pathways to success. These young professionals are not only earning jobs, but building towards self-sufficiency and stability for their family,” said Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods.

A culture of diversity and inclusion has been the cornerstone of the Classical Theatre of Harlem for the past two decades. The Theatre brings awareness of arts and culture to its community by providing exposure and employment opportunities to artists and people of color. It also brings community members together from all walks of life, hosting in-school theatre workshops and summer programs for local students and providing free entry to many of its productions.

“The Classical Theatre of Harlem is dedicated to creating economic and educational opportunities in Harlem. We work to do this by providing access to the theatre for diverse artists, audiences, and administrators. With Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders grant support, we will be able to expand our reach and continue to lead with diversity, equity, and inclusion that strengthens the Harlem community and all of New York City, “said Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director, Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Education Matters Africa Foundation

The Education Matters Africa Foundation was selected as one of 13 nonprofits receiving a $50,000 grant that will help talented and economically-disadvantaged students to negotiate admission for colleges and universities with the aim of producing highly-skilled and widely-educated leaders. The organization was selected as thousands of employees responded with the aim of putting one of the grants to work in their community.

The non-profit was nominated by Bank of America Mergers and Acquisitions Investment Banking Associate Ashton Ngwena, who has a personal connection to the organization. Ashton, from a small village in Zimbabwe, was selected into the United Student Achievers Program (USAP), which in 2016 became Education Matters. The program helped him secure a full scholarship to Manhattanville College and become the first member of his family to earn a college degree.

Grant funding will help build the organization’s first USAP Community School in Zimbabwe, set to open in January 2020.

“I am proud to be both a Bank of America employee and an Education Matters/USAP alumni. Getting accepted into USAP was a key turning point in my life that has since opened so many doors I never thought imaginable,” said Ngwena. “I am grateful to Bank of America for helping us to further our impact through this significant contribution that will go towards building a sanctuary for our students to learn, to hope and to dream of a brighter future for their communities.”

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