Claflin University Receives $500,000 from Bank of America to Support The Center for Social Justice

Claflin University announces that Bank of America will invest $500,000 to support the University’s Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. The Pathways From Prison Program is a historic collaboration between Claflin and the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) that provides incarcerated individuals in South Carolina access to the University’s exceptional academic programs.

Incarcerated individuals that meet Claflin and SCDC requirements can earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, and organizational management. They can also earn minors and certificate credentials.

Bank of America's investment will support student scholarships; enhance technological resources such as laptops, keyboards, printers, routers, and wi-fi hotspots. Funding for the partnership will also be used to increase the number of qualified faculty and staff to ensure incarcerated students receive the same high-quality educational experience that has earned Claflin national recognition as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities.

“We are extremely grateful for Bank of America’s support for our Center for Social Justice and the Pathways From Prison Program. Research indicates a dramatic reduction in recidivism rates for incarcerated individuals who participate in prison education programs,” said Claflin President Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, a 2019 USA Eisenhower Fellow. Warmack’s research during his fellowship explored global best practices for reducing mass incarceration through education and rehabilitation.

“Bank of America’s reputation as a global leader in banking and finance is widely recognized. This partnership amplifies their commitment to equality, equity, and expanding economic opportunities for diverse populations.”

“Education is a gateway to a better life,” said Kim Wilkerson, President, Bank of America South Carolina.
“We appreciate Claflin University’s leadership and recognize the success and progress made through the Pathways From Prison Program. Issues of racial equality and economic opportunity are deeply connected, and it’s important to remove the barriers to success and focus on areas where systemic, long-term gaps have existed.”

The Pathways From Prison Program was established through the Second Chance Pell Grant Pilot Program, a U.S. Department of Education (DOE) initiative. The grant provides need-based Federal Pell Grants to individuals incarcerated in federal and state prisons. Claflin University was the only historically black college/university (HBCU) in South Carolina among 67 colleges and universities nationwide selected for the program.

Claflin University is a comprehensive institution of higher education affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A historically black University founded in 1869, Claflin is dedicated to providing a student-centered, liberal arts education grounded in cutting-edge research, experiential learning, state-of-the art technology, community service, and life-long personal and professional fulfillment. Claflin is a diverse and inclusive community of students, faculty, staff and administrators who work to cultivate practical wisdom, judgment, knowledge, skills and character needed for globally engaged citizenship and effective leadership.

At Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), 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. Connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).


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