Eastern Bank Honors Sarah-Ann Shaw and Klare Shaw With Community Advocacy Awards

June 20, 2018

For Decades, Mother and Daughter Have Used Their Chosen Fields To Pursue Social Advocacy For Minority Communities

BOSTON, June 20, 2018 – Eastern Bank, America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, honored community activists Sarah-Ann Shaw and her daughter Klare with Community Advocacy Awards at an event held last evening at the Museum of African American History’s African American Meeting House in Boston. These awards celebrate leaders who give their time and talent to address vital needs in various communities. They were presented on Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

A community activist for most of her life, Sarah-Ann Shaw was hired as the first Black woman reporter at WBZ-TV. She joined WBZ-TV in 1969 and worked at the station for 31 years. During that time, she worked on stories which provided positive images of urban life in order to dispel stereotypes of Black, Asian, Latino and other communities of color in Massachusetts. Her stories gave balance to those most often under-represented by media outlets, and her special reports focused on the importance of providing all people with the same social, economic and educational opportunities. She also worked at WGBH on the Say Brother show, which was renamed Basic Black. This year, Basic Black celebrates its 50th year on the air.

Sarah-Ann has been honored by a variety of organizations. Mount Ida College awarded her an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 2014 and in that same year ABCD, Boston’s anti-poverty agency, inducted her into its Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame. She has received numerous journalistic awards for her work, including Lifetime Achievement Awards from Emerson College RTNDA (Radio Television News Directors Association) and the National Association of Black Journalists, and The Yankee Quill Award from the New England Society of News Editors. She also serves as a board member of several institutions, including Boston Neighborhood Network, The Friends of Dudley Library Inc., Boston Senior Homecare and The League of Women for Community Service. Over the years, she has served on several advisory committees, including Boston University School of Medicine Dean’s Advisory Board and the Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force. She was inducted into the MA Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame where she also served as a board member. Her contributions to the city have been acknowledged by many and she is the recipient of such awards as the Old South Church Open Door Award in 2016, the Boston Women’s Fund Take a Stand Award in 2006, and the Boston Celtics A Hero Among Us Award in 2001.  

Klare Shaw’s passion for education, civil rights and community have established her as a leading advisor in corporate philanthropy and promoter of diversity. Her interest in social change has focused on overseeing state and private foundation grants and shaping education policy. As National Director of Programs at the Liberty Mutual Foundation, she works with Foundation President Melissa MacDonnell and staff to oversee Liberty Mutual Insurance’s corporate giving in Boston, Seattle and Dallas, with a focus on education, empowerment and access for people with disabilities, and basic human services such as food security and services for the homeless. Previously, she spent a number of years in roles advancing the mission of the Boston Public Schools (BPS), including Executive Director of Expanded Learning and Partnerships, Special Advisor to Superintendent Carol Johnson (as a bridge between BPS and City Hall supporting Mayor Menino’s External Advisory Committee For Improving School Choice), and Senior Arts Advisor at EdVestors working on the BPS Arts Expansion Initiative. Prior to these roles, she served as Senior Advisor/Program Officer at the Barr Foundation and Executive Director of the Boston Globe Foundation.

This celebration of Eastern’s Community Advocacy Award coincided with the Bank’s 200th anniversary year, when it is focusing its community service, philanthropic, and advocacy activities on helping to eliminate barriers around a wide range of issues that disproportionately impact women and girls, such as pay equity, protecting civil rights and fighting discrimination, sexual assault, health care, self esteem, workforce development and economic development, and senior management and board representation.

Recognition of the Shaws was organized by Eastern’s Black Professional Alliance Employee Network Group. The awards reception took place at Boston’s Museum of African American History and African American Meeting House where the exhibit, Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century, is on display.

“Sarah-Ann and Klare model how gender and racial disparities can be overcome with perseverance, even in the face of adversity. On behalf of everyone at Eastern, we are proud to recognize their service and present them with our Community Advocacy Award,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “They epitomize the advancement not only of women but also of African Americans and many other communities. It is amazing to think that 200 years ago when Eastern was founded and our beginnings were taking shape in Salem and Lynn, Frederick Douglass was born, eventually settling in Lynn to lead his social reform work. That we are celebrating the Shaws amid an exhibit on Mr. Douglass, makes this community advocacy recognition even more meaningful and special.”

About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018, Boston-based Eastern Bank is America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, with $11 billion in assets and over 120 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Eastern provides exceptional access to fairly priced banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is known for its outspoken advocacy and community support that has exceeded more than $110 million in charitable giving since 1999. An inclusive company, Eastern employs 1,900+ deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues and communities. Join us for good at and follow Eastern on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.


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