Bank of America, Lowe’s sponsor ‘woke’ training instructing white employees ‘cede power to people of color’

Bank of America, Lowe’s, and Truist Financial Corporation sponsored a woke Critical Race Theory program called “Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge” that was hosted by the United Way urging white individuals to “cede power to people of color.”

A 38-page document is included in the training called “Awake to Woke to Work: Building a Race Equity Culture.”

It contains a “Call to Action” which encourages white people to “cede power to people of color within and across teams, organizations, and systems.” The document also advocates for participants to “decolonize your mind. Accept that White supremacy and institutional racism are real and practiced by all races.” The document instructs readers to “dismantle” “White supremacy” and to call out “microaggressions.”

The challenge was exposed by Christopher Rufo, who is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He presented documents that were supplied to him by a whistleblower. According to Rufo, Bank of America encouraged North Carolina employees to take part in the challenge. But that wasn’t the only place that the corporation pushed the training.

“This year, BOA executive Charles Bowman announced a new “equity” initiative called United in Action, in partnership with the United Way of Central Carolinas. According to documents I have reviewed, BOA executives launched the initiative by encouraging employees to participate in a 21-day race-training “challenge” funded in part by the bank and built on the principles of Critical Race Theory,” Rufo wrote at the New York Post.

The United Way issued a press release for the training in December of 2020 that stated, “Black and Brown people continue to face tremendous obstacles to achieve economic mobility across our country and here in the Charlotte region. This project allows each of us to examine the systems and policies that have historically disadvantaged those populations and benefitted others.”

Truist Financial, Lowe’s, and Bank of America were early “presenting sponsors and equity champions” for the challenge, according to the press release. But others lined up to get in on the woke training. Atrium Health, Ally Financial, Duke Energy, and McGuirewoods all participated as “equity ally sponsors.” First National Bank, Ernst & Young, Gambrell Foundation, Grant Thornton, and Knight Foundation also took part as “equity partner sponsors.”

“All sponsors have the opportunity to share the Racial Equity 21-Day Challenge activity with their employees to encourage participation,” the United Way press release further posited.

The challenge started out by informing participants that the United States is a “racialized society” that “use[s] race to establish and justify systems of power, privilege, disenfranchisement, and oppression,” which then “give[s] privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color.”

According to training program documents, all whites “regardless of one’s socioeconomic class background or other disadvantages” are “living a life with white-skin privileges.” It also purports that white toddlers “develop racial biases by ages 3 to 5” and “should be actively taught to recognize and reject the ‘smog’ of white privilege.”

United Way even had responses ready to address potential objections in its “discussion guide.”

The guide claims there is no such thing as reverse discrimination, “Reverse racism and discrimination are not possible given the history of oppression and power structures that have been core to the making of this country.”

It also contends that people of color cannot be racist, stating: “Racism is used to justify the position of the dominant group, White people in this case, and to uphold white supremacy and superiority. Everyone can be biased, and engage in bigoted and belittling behavior that is intolerant of other perspectives. But racism is by definition a form of oppression exercised by the dominant racial group (Whites).”

Topics covered during the 21-day challenge included systemic oppression, intersectionality, white privilege, unconscious bias, white fragility, and others. It also addresses racial discrepancies in health, wealth, and real estate using sources such as The New York Times’ “1619 Project” as references.

Even more alarming was the program’s assertions that black children are disproportionately disciplined in classrooms which furthers a “school to prison pipeline.” Black individuals are also said to suffer from “environmental racism” due to pollution.

During the final day of the challenge, the United Way calls on those taking part in it to discuss racism, read history books by self-proclaimed Marxist historian Howard Zinn, refer to guidance provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and donate to the United Way of Central Carolinas “to support our racial equity work.”

Rufo concludes his reporting, stating, “In its very name, the Bank of America Corporation claims to represent the United States. Yet instead of promoting American ideals, the company’s executives have adopted the radical, pseudoscientific concepts of critical race theory. They are pushing intensely ideological messages on their employees, from race-based collective guilt to abolishing the police. Let the American public know and judge accordingly.”

“When you do CRT training, you are playing a large role in ripping America apart,” Matt Schlapp, who is the chairman of the American Conservative Union told Fox Business on Wednesday. These types of training “make white straight Christian male employees apologize for being white, straight, male and Christian.”

Bank of America was ripped on social media:

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