Community Reinvestment

Eastern Bank, State Street Each Donate $5M To Racial Equity Effort

New Foundation Supports Efforts Of Black, Brown Organizations Working For Social Needs

Keith Griffin

July 29, 2020

The New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund, which launched in July, has received two donations of $5 million each from Eastern Bank and State Street Bank. The fund is based in Boston.

The Boston Globe reports the foundation focuses on supporting Black- and brown-led organizations that are working on issues such as policing and criminal justice reform, health care equity, economic empowerment, and youth civic engagement. Eastern and State Street are each committing $1 million for each of the next five years, and will match employee contributions to the fund.

Eastern Bank CEO Bob Rivers described the inaugural set of gifts as “merely a start” and called on the biggest companies in Massachusetts to support the fund. New Commonwealth has set a fund-raising goal of more than $100 million.

“Consider that if each of the largest 100 companies in Massachusetts makes at least a $1 million commitment over four years to the fund, a historic amount will be raised to tackle systemic racism in Boston and across our Commonwealth,” Rivers said in a statement. “We urge businesses and CEOs to unite with us on this issue.”

State Street CEO Ron O’Hanley, in a statement, applauded the leaders behind the fund and their approach to dismantling systemic racism. “Massachusetts has a long history of being at the vanguard of change and innovation, and I believe this fund not only has the opportunity to look at the issue of race and inequality with a fresh perspective, but will also truly address key issues that, as a Commonwealth, we can all benefit from,” O’Hanley said.

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