Though slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, we cannot ignore the role it played in creating our nation. The New York Times‘ 1619 Project is dedicated to reframing America’s history with slavery at the center of it. It’s a reminder that we cannot forget our past and must continue to work towards a truly equal future.
For more on the 1619 Project, check out the 1619 podcast, which was named the #1 best podcast of 2019 by TIME.
By Nicholas Conley | February 7, 2020 | 3 Minute Read
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Someone suffers a heart attack about every forty seconds, according to the CDC, and about 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. Cardiovascular ailments impact everyone, but differences in genetics, socioeconomic status, and gender play key roles in survival rates. For instance, as cardiologist Dr. Paula Johnson often notes, the “textbook” heart attack symptoms only apply to men, while women often display different symptoms.
power. That’s why February is designated as American Heart Month and why
February 7th marks National Wear Red Day 2020, an event for which millions of
people across the country go red to raise awareness about heart disease, speak
up about the risks—particularly for women—and, hopefully, save lives.
A Red History
According to the American College of Cardiology, February was officially designated as American Heart Month back in 1963 through a presidential proclamation from Lyndon B. Johnson. The following year saw the landmark release of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, finally solidifying the link between cigarettes, heart disease, and lung cancer. Over the decades, numerous public and private health organizations have used the month of February to bring awareness to the cardiovascular risks posed by smoking and to help lower the national rates of death. In fact, the medical research journal Circulation Research published a study in 2017 crediting the decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke as “the success story of the century’s last four decades.”
That said, heart
disease remains America’s biggest killer. In the United States, one in four
deaths continues to be caused by heart disease. The CDC estimates that 805,000
Americans have heart attacks every year.
suffer an even greater risk than men. The figures are shocking: one in three American
women die from heart disease, according to the
American Heart Association,
and though men experience heart attacks at younger ages than women, women are
less likely to survive, a disparity sometimes called the “heart attack
realities fueled the creation of “The Heart Truth” in 2002. It’s a
federally-sponsored campaign that sought to increase awareness about the risks
posed to women by heart disease as well as the movement’s symbol, the Red
Dress, which is now recognized across the country. By putting an image to a
cause, the Red Dress paved the way for National Wear Red Day, an annual event
where people wear red to show their support for women with heart disease and to
raise awareness about its dangers. Through fundraisers, events, rallies, and
media campaigns, the Red Dress has helped people across the country to better
know the risks, to inform others, and to take action in their own lives.
How You Can Get
Involved on National Wear Red Day
The first thing
you can do to honor this event is, of course, to wear red.
Eastern Give For Good makes it easy to support the American Heart Association by allowing you to donate right from your Eastern Mobile Banking app.
There are also
plenty of other ways to join in, even after February ends. For instance,
supporters who work in the medical field can attend Harvard Medical School’s weekend
course titled Cardiovascular
Disease and Global Health Equity, while those located further north can head to Portland, Maine on
March 19th for the 2020
Portland Go Red Luncheon.
Finally, on May 9th, join the 2020 Central MA Heart &
Stroke Walk at Quinsigamond
State Park in Worcester, where you can donate and walk to show your support for
heart disease research, heart disease cures, and heart disease victims across
New England, the United States, and the world.
Join us in wearing red to help build awareness for Women’s Heart Health.
By Satta Sarmah Hightower | February 3, 2020 | 3 Minute Read
Every two to four years on a Tuesday in November, you can use a ballot
box to cast a vote for the candidate of your choosing.
This simple act
is something we often take for granted, but 150 years ago, many Americans
didn’t have this privilege. It wasn’t until 1870, when the 15th Amendment
became a part of the Constitution, that black men were granted the right to
The amendment laid
the groundwork for equal voting rights for all men and women in our country.
However, the right to vote is something we still must fight to protect, even
half a century later.
What the 15th
Amendment Is and Its Importance for Voting Rights
Amendment in February 1869
and the law was ratified the following year, on February 3, 1870. It states
that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be
denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race,
color, or previous condition of servitude.”
important to note that although the 15th Amendment prohibited voting
discrimination on the basis of race, the law did not give women the right to
vote. It wasn’t until Congress ratified the 19th Amendment in 1920 that all
women could vote, and it wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that
literacy tests and other anti-voting efforts were outlawed and African
Americans were granted full voting rights. Thanks to these efforts, the number
of voting-age African Americans who were registered increased from 23% to 61%
The Evolution of
Voting Rights in America
important because it exemplifies what it means to be a citizen and have full
rights in your own country. This right means that everyone in our
nation—regardless of race, sex, or sexual orientation—can fully participate in
our democracy. Your vote is essentially your voice.
Voting has paved
the way for more diverse representation in America’s elected offices, with more
women and people of color serving in public office. However, 150 years after
the adoption of the 15th Amendment, voting rights have never been more
critical. It’s why the Association for the Study of African American Life and
History (ASALH) has made African Americans and the Vote its 2020 Black History theme.
states have made it easier to register to vote and participate in elections,
while others either have imposed or sought to enact new laws that making voting
more onerous, including voter ID laws, reducing the number of polling
locations, and purging eligible voters from voter registration lists.
The right to vote
should be sacrosanct. This belief is at the heart of the 15th Amendment and
crucial when it comes to preserving America’s democracy. Without the 15th
Amendment, millions of Americans wouldn’t be able to vote or participate in our
democracy, and we would likely not have leaders from nearly every walk of life
serving in Congress today.
Amendment undoubtedly has helped America’s democracy endure and come closer to
achieving the ultimate goal of our founders: liberty and justice for all.
Join us for good in registering to vote and exercising your right to create change and make your voice heard.
By Michael Givens | December 31, 2019 | 4 Minute Read
From Massachusetts becoming the 16th state to ban a harmful mental
health practice to the progress that was made on a bill that can help
immigrants stay in the United States, social justice in 2019 has seen many
impressive strides forward. As we get ready for the first chapter of 2020, the
Join Us For Good campaign and Eastern Bank want to acknowledge the progress
An End to
Conversion Therapy in the Bay State
On April 8, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Bakersigned HR 140 (An Act Relative to Abuse Practices to Change Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Minors) into law. The controversial practice of conversion therapy has long been used by a small number of mental health providers to attempt to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth through harmful practices that target physical and mental health.
Over the last
several years, the practice has become condemned by a number of professional
organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the American
Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others.
Numerous studies have shown that attempting to change the sexual orientation or
gender identity of LGBTQ youth can cause depression and increased thoughts of
suicide and lead to more instances of illicit drug use. Massachusetts joined
California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and
Washington in legally condemning the practice. Just a month later, governors
for both Colorado and Maine signed similar bills into law, with Maine becoming
the last New England state to ban conversion therapy.
Providing a Clear
Pathway to Homeownership
In 2019, Eastern
Bank continued its commitment to social justice by working to provide Boston’s
low-income families and families of color with the opportunity to own their own
The Eastern Bank Community Development Lending (CDL) program has an impressive track record in this area, investing millions of dollars into affordable housing projects and community revitalization initiatives. Earlier this year, Eastern Bank Senior Vice President Yongmei Chen was honored for her work to ensure that Asian American families have greater access to housing opportunities in Boston.
is a major issue, not just in the Asian American community but in a lot of
minority communities in [Boston],” she said at the awards ceremony.
“In Chinatown, particularly, with all of the development that’s going on,
the pressure of affordability, of people staying in the city and working in the
city is getting tougher and tougher.”
Boston like Roxbury and Chinatown saw dozens of new homes built specifically
for working families. Eastern Bank didn’t stop at affordable housing—it also
invested heavily in its Business
Equity Initiative (BEI),
which provides capital to small business owners. It’s a great way to encourage
entrepreneurship within communities of color.
was one of the dominant conversations for social justice in 2019 and it’s an
issue that affects every single one of us. On September 20, youth around the
world participated in climate
strikes to call attention
to their deep concern about climate change and its impacts. From Belgium to
South Africa, Afghanistan to Japan, thousands of young people took to the
streets to discuss issues like greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide levels,
oil and gas exploration, rising seas, soil erosion, and the ever-fading ozone
layer. In the United States, cities like Denver, San Francisco, New York, and
Boston saw thousands of youth congregate in public spaces with colorful signs
to demand a healthy future for our planet. The mobilization of so many young
people across the world is powerful evidence that 2020 and beyond will see lots
of social justice activism.
Dream and Promise
No year in review
would be complete without discussing advancements in immigrant rights. The
Dream and Promise Act passed the House of Representatives this summer. If
approved by the Senate and signed into law, it will provide a clear path to
citizenship for thousands of immigrants living across the nation. Specifically,
this act will support immigrants who came into the United States as minors and
provides them with conditional permanent status for up to 10 years. It was a
major development in social justice in 2019.
As 2020 begins, the passage of bills like the Dream and Promise Act will ensure that our nation will continue to welcome immigrants who are seeking a better life.
By Nicholas Conley | December 18, 2019 | 3 Minute Read
One of the most beautiful and heart-fulfilling times of year has
arrived — the giving season. As snow starts to sprinkle down on the streets of
Boston, families are reunited, and gifts are exchanged. It’s the perfect
opportunity to appreciate the comforts you have and consider giving to those in
All too often,
Boston’s underserved communities struggle through the holiday season. However,
by volunteering just a few hours of your time, giving blood, or donating to a
charity of your choice, you can gift others with the joy of a happy holiday.
Here are four
easy ways to get involved.
Help Serve a Good
holidays, volunteers provide a crucial lifeline to many families. As schedules
get cluttered and regular volunteers aren’t as readily available to fill open
shifts, marginalized communities often face escalating emotional, physical, and
Now’s the time if you’ve been on the fence about volunteering. One of the biggest problems faced by lower-income families in the Boston area, especially during the holiday season, is hunger: to help, you can volunteer at Pine Street Inn, the largest homeless services provider in New England, which opened in 1969 marking this year its 50th anniversary of serving the community. Similar opportunities to feed the hungry can be found at Rosie’s Place, the first women’s shelter in the United States, Haley House in Roxbury, and Women’s Lunch Place located in the Back Bay.
Bring a Happy
Holiday to Boston’s Homeless Children
If you want to
bring some holiday cheer to children in need, one particularly seasonal
opportunity is the annual Christmas in the City event held at the Boston Convention and
Exhibition Center on December 22. This one-day holiday party seeks to bring a
happy holiday to the homeless children of the greater Boston area with rides,
games, gifts, and even a visit from Santa Claus. For many of these children, this
event will be the only holiday they have. Christmas in the City is a 100%
volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that relies on help from people like
you, so all volunteers are appreciated.
The Gift of Life
One small but
crucial way you can help others is through the gift of a blood donation.
According to the American
Red Cross, a person in the
U.S. needs blood every two seconds, and one single donation can save up to
there’s one time of the year where blood donations are most needed, it’s during
the holidays. Between winter weather and seasonal illnesses, blood donations
always drop off during these months, leaving desperate patients with less
access to what is, quite literally, their lifeline. By donating blood today,
you are potentially ensuring that three hospitalized people will get to
celebrate the holidays with their families.
Donate to A Good
December is a
busy time. For many people, the best way to help their community during this
hectic month is by giving to a charity of their choice.
That’s why we created Eastern Give For Good, a one-stop-shop for all your donation needs. Whether you want to donate to a local homeless shelter, give to a national organization, or simply search for new charities that align with your values, Eastern Give For Good provides you with the tools you need to make donations fast, easy, and minimally stressful. Donating takes very little of your time but makes a big impact on the individuals and families that you assist. After all, the giving season is here and there’s no better time to help your neighbors.
Give For Good and celebrate
the holiday season by donating to any cause or charity you love.
By Nicholas Conley | December 2, 2019 | 2 Minute Read
Despite living in an increasingly interconnected world, charitable
giving can seem more complex and daunting than ever before. Finding and vetting
the right organizations, typing your financial information into multiple
websites, and keeping track of receipts for tax season can be very
Eastern Bank, known for its history of giving back to the community, has
launched Eastern Give For Good with Pinkaloo Technologies to reshape the nature
of charitable donations for the 21st century.
Easy to use and
easy to maintain—Give For Good is the charitable giving tool you didn’t know
you were looking for. Here’s how it works.
Ahead of the Curve
Eastern Bank and
Pinkaloo connected through their participation in the MassChallenge FinTech
program and launched the Give For Good pilot program in less than six months.
Give For Good’s technology aims to take the stress away from donating to
charity. By simply signing in to your Eastern Mobile and Online Bank account and
clicking on the Give For Good banner, you’ll have access to everything you need
to find charities or give to causes that you’re passionate about, whether it’s
supporting a national organization, a local nonprofit, or contributing towards
a friend’s charity walk or fundraiser. Over 1.5 million 501(c)(3) organizations
are eligible and available on the platform, all of which are only one click
looking to make a one-off gift or an automated monthly donation, Give For Good
makes the process easy and hassle-free:
You have the power to donate as much money as you’d like without having to find and sign up on multiple websites.
It’s free to use and always will be, with no fees and no complications.
You no longer have to keep tabs on your giving history: Eastern Give For Good will automatically track your charitable spending for you and provide all of the information you need to stay organized.
As a bonus, it also maintains your giving history and (instant) tax receipts in one place for you to access at any time.
Is your sister running a marathon next month or your alma mater raising funds for GivingTuesday? You can also donate on-the-go to family and friends.
Using Give For
Good to Help Others
As an extension of Eastern Bank’s “Join Us for Good” movement, Eastern hopes is to transform the giving experience for their customers and communities.
Visit the official Eastern Give For Good website to learn more and start giving
to your favorite charities and causes today.
By Michael Givens | December 19, 2019 | 5 Minute Read
Eastern Bank has a powerful legacy of community advocacy across New
England. Our dedication to supporting communities of color, immigrants, the
LGBTQ+ population, and low-income families have helped us to stand out as a
social justice leader. Our annual Community Advocacy Awards ceremony is an opportunity
for us to acknowledge and honor the local leaders who are also making a
difference across New England.
This year, Eastern Bank will honor those who have made great contributions to one of the most important parts of our communities: early childhood education. Throughout October, November, and December, Eastern Bank will present awards to a diverse group of individuals who have devoted themselves to ensuring that all children have access to quality education.
Marolí Licardié has served as the executive director of Family & Children’s Service of Greater Lynn since 2006. The organization provides resources for families such as home visits, emergency financial assistance, and parental education programs. Licardié has devoted herself to increasing the services offered by the organization, strengthening partnerships, and serving more families.
She was the executive director for the division of Family Services and Community Health at the Latin American Health Institute in Boston for 13 years and a developmental educator at Dimock Community Health Center for more than eight years. She holds a B.A. in Human Communication and Special Education from Morelos State University in Mexico and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Tufts University. Learn more about why Marolí Licardié is this year’s Community Advocacy Award honoree.
Jon Firger has been the executive director of Family ACCESS in Newton, Massachusetts since 2010. The organization provides early education and literacy services, abuse prevention programs, counseling, and parental support. Serving 5,200 parents and children in the Greater Boston area, Family ACCESS has grown substantially under Figer’s leadership.
November 7th: Zelma Khadar and Lucas Skorczeski, Acre Family Child Care
Zelma Khadar embodies community advocacy at its best. When her children were young, Khadar began bringing them to an Acre child care provider in Lowell, Massachusetts. Eventually, she joined the board of directors as a representative for the Acre parents. Her leadership while on the board eventually led to her joining the staff in 1998 as a coordinator for an Acre program providing financial education classes to residents of Lowell. Now Khadar is a co-executive director of Acre Family Child Care and manages the Child Care Department, where she oversees family child care provider and parent services.
Peter Gilmore, Seacoast Community School
Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Seacoast Community School educates more than 260 students between the ages of eight weeks and 12 and provides early childhood education access and before and after school programs. Peter Gilmore has been the executive director of the school since 2016 and comes from a long line of educators.
He earned a B.A. in History from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and went on to earn a Masters of Education from Harvard University. Gilmore has spent most of his career working for independent schools and most recently was the head of school at Vermont Commons School before taking his position at Seacoast Community School. He also served on the board of directors for the Vermont Independent Schools Association (VISA). Read more about why Peter Gilmore is honored with Eastern Bank’s Community Advocacy Award.
Sheri Adlin, South Shore Stars
Sheri Adlin has spent more than 40 years in community advocacy and currently serves as the executive director of South Shore Stars, a position she’s held for 25 years. South Shore Stars works with children from birth to high school on subjects including school readiness, academic achievement, and healthy development.
Adlin has worked on a number of coalitions to support low-income and immigrant families. She has more than four decades of experience in program development, management, public policy, and classroom teaching. In addition, she has been the vice-president of the Massachusetts Association of Early Education and Care (MADCA) for 20 years. As vice-president, she has advocated for policies to support affordable and accessible childcare. Learn more about why Sheri Adlin is this year’s Community Advocacy Award honoree.
Cindy Horgan, Cape Cod Children’s Place, Inc.
As the executive director and family support coordinator of Cape Cod Children’s Place, Cindy Horgan has been involved in family support and education for years. With a mission to serve as a resource for families with young children, Cape Cod Children’s Place provides a range of programs such as support groups, family workshops, early childhood classes, referrals, and even personalized home visits.
In 2017, she oversaw the partnership of Cape Cod Children’s Place with a number of other local community agencies so the Children’s Place could better provide services for low-income families. And in January, she managed the critical partnership between Cape Cod Children’s Place and the Homeless Prevention Council and the Community Development Program to form an interagency alliance. This allowed each organization to continue to provide critical services for local families in need of support. Horgan holds an M.Ed from Wheelock College. Read more about why Cindy Horgan is honored with Eastern Bank’s Community Advocacy Award.
Learn more about the importance of early childhood education and see the list of recipients for Eastern Bank’s 2019 Grants For Good.