Nancy Stager: Civil Rights and LGBTQ Ally

By Lorelei Erisis | October 29, 2018 | 3 Minute Read

During the fight to protect and support the Yes on 3 Massachusetts 2018 Campaign, it’s important to have allies. An ally that I’ve known for many years in the struggle for full transgender equality is Nancy Stager, Eastern Bank’s executive vice president for human resources and charitable giving.

Her passion and dedication to working for good in her community is nothing short of inspiring. “I am—and have always been since I was a little kid—a fairness monitor, and a vocal voice for making sure that people are treated fairly.”

Stager joined the human resources’ division of Eastern Bank in 1995. Despite feeling hesitant about leaving the tech industry to join a bank, she felt that she could help evolve the culture. Luckily, Stan Lukowski, the chairman of Eastern at the time, was especially committed to the concept of community banking. And in a theme pointing toward her present work on the Yes On 3 campaign, joining Eastern Bank made Stager think more about other missions that the organization could support within the community.

Her commitment to the work she does is both infectious and uplifting. “It isn’t an ad campaign, it’s our DNA,” Stager said about the culture at Eastern Bank. “And for it to really be authentic and real, that takes effort every day.”

And the work that Stager does in the community, as a representative of Eastern, often intersects closely with areas that she is passionate about. For example, Eastern donates 10 percent of their net profits to charity every year to more than 1,600 organizations. In addition to donating millions of dollars, Stager—along with other employees of the bank—volunteer more than 60,000 hours of their time every year. It’s a perfect illustration of how Eastern Bank’s commitment to their values is really at the core of the company as well as its employees.

Stager’s work and support extend to issues affecting people across the world. Just recently, she attended a board meeting at Manomet, an international science and outreach-focused nonprofit, based in Plymouth that does research to, “come up with practical solutions for climate change issues.”

As far as the Yes on 3 Massachusetts 2018 Campaign goes, Stager urges everyone to vote. “I see the Yes on 3 question as one of the critical civil rights questions of our time,” she said. “It’s about respect and dignity, and allowing people to be who they are.”

She spoke passionately about her belief that transgender people should have the opportunity to simply be who they are, without stigma and with their basic rights protected. Then all of the energy they spend having to hide, or even just survive, could be turned toward more positive pursuits. They could be better able to work for the good of their families and their communities.

After learning more about what happened to the transgender community in North Carolina with the bathroom bill, Nancy Stager and Eastern Bank have been working especially hard, urging all to support the transgender community and vote yes on 3 here in Massachusetts.

“People who are transgender just want to live their life fully, and authentically,” Stager concluded. “Taking [the law] away will only impact a very small population. But if you start taking away civil rights from one small population, you can start taking them away from others. And that’s a really dangerous precedent.”

Join Nancy Stager and Eastern Bank for Good and vote Yes On 3 this November!

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