Standing With and For Our Communities
Every day, we’re lending our support, voice and actions toward a more just and equitable world. Using our voice in the communities we serve and advocating for civil rights, economic justice, equity and inclusion for everyone is based on the simple idea that all people deserve an opportunity to prosper.
Below are examples of our Advocacy:
Addressing racial inequity
Working to end systemic racism, closing the racial wealth gap, and driving greater economic inclusion and mobility will take years of collective work. That includes expanding our support for groups working to strengthen all Black and Brown and underrepresented communities, raising our voice even louder to support economic mobility, inclusion and equity, and fueling the ecosystem for entrepreneurs of color. In 2020 for instance, we pledged our support to the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, which was founded to eliminate systemic racism, and committed $5 million over five years, five times our previous largest donation to any organization.
Advancing women in our communities
Empowering women is just one of the areas in which we aim to bring good for all, and we work to eliminate barriers and advance women in the communities we serve. We have given our support and advocated for public policy on pay equity and greater representation of women on corporate boards of directors as well as other issues that disproportionately impact women, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and health care.
Saluting military service and supporting returning Veterans
We are committed to supporting active military, Veterans, their families and the organizations assisting them through philanthropic investments and advocacy. Our partnerships with Massachusetts Fallen Heroes, Veterans Legal Services and the New England Center and Home for Veterans help Veterans gain access to additional support and mentorship. Our advocacy has also supported proposed legislation addressing post-traumatic stress disorder. A long-standing affiliation with UMass Lowell Veterans Services provides emergency funding grants to Veterans for tuition, housing and other short-term needs from application to graduation. Eastern Bank’s Military Veterans and Families Employee Network helps to lead our contributions to the military and Veteran community.
Support for the LGBTQ+ community
Advocating for and defending LGBTQ+ rights has long been important to Eastern. For the eighth consecutive year, Eastern earned a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a nod to our corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. Our “Equality Under the Blue” Employee Network is highly visible at events across the communities we serve, and we also provide our support through legislative and policy actions. During the November 2018 election, transgender equity was upheld in Massachusetts when voters overwhelmingly said yes to Ballot Question Three. We were front and center in raising awareness about “Yes on 3,” hosting fundraising rallies to support upholding the law, donating financial assistance and reaching out to influential networks to contribute to the cause. In 2020, we helped to establish the LGBT Business Network, a charitable arm of the MA LGBT Chamber of Commerce focused on building capacity of LGBT-owned businesses.
Creating opportunity in our Gateway Cities
We are proud to be part of the revitalization and economic inclusion within the Gateway Cities across our region. Working with others in the private sector, local elected officials and nonprofit executives, we continue to expand public-private partnerships to create and drive economic inclusion, support initiatives and advocate for legislative and policy changes to ensure all our cities are safe and welcoming for every person.
Sustainability is social justice
A healthy environment is an integral component of a community’s ability to thrive. Climate change and other environmental damage affect our most vulnerable citizens disproportionately. As part of our commitment to social justice, our sustainability efforts focus on formal initiatives, volunteer programs and advocacy.