Financial inclusion in Black communities is more than needed to strengthen our economic development and encourage generational wealth. That inclusion comes from the support we obtain from Black-owned banks who aim to provide resources specifically catered to our needs.

Unity National Bank of Houston — the only Black-owned bank in Texas — is working to complete that mission through a new partnership with Bank of America.

According to Black Business, Bank of America has acquired approximately 5 percent of the bank’s common equity, with its investment aimed at offering benefits to the communities that Unity serves through services such as lending, housing, neighborhood revitalization, and more.

“Unity remains committed to the vision of providing banking services to historically underserved businesses and individuals during these trying times,” said Unity’s Board Chairman Dr. Kase L. Lawal in a statement. “Bank of America’s investment in Unity will strengthen our core community banking philosophy especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Part of this partnership is tied to Bank of America’s focus on investing $50 million in direct equity investments in Minority Depository Institutions, Black Business reports, which is attached to its larger $1 billion four-year commitment to address economic and racial inequality in America.

“Across the country, African Americans are disproportionately suffering from the impact of both the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout and have struggled to access federal aid programs designed to mitigate the damage,” Unity’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Laurie A. Vignaud shared. “Bank of America’s investment in Unity is a huge push to drive tangible progress in making systemic changes and reforms that address economic and racial disparities.”

Additionally, Hong Ogle — Houston Market President of Bank of America — also shared his thoughts on the company’s efforts to create a better financial future that’s more inclusive for U.S. residents in a statement:

“The investment Bank of America is making in Unity, as well as other MDI’s, is part of our commitment to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity as we work to create more pathways to employment and provide more support for minority entrepreneurs. We remain committed to helping support further lending to Black, Hispanic-Latino and other communities of color.”

For more information about Unity National Bank of Houston, click here.