by Kathie MM
Big banks (the ones that claim to be too big to fail) are a big—very, very big cause for concern. The charges directed at them:
- They reap profits by exploiting (not educating, not rehabilitating, not treating) men and women languishing in for-profit prisons, victims of the slow wheels of injustice that grind people up because they’re poor, powerless, and/or black/Hispanic/immigrant.
- They rob the poor to pay the rich by swiping millions from welfare recipients and by financing predatory payday lending.
- they contribute to environmental destruction by investing billions in fossil fuels.
But today I want to throw a little salt on the flames by talking about different type of bank—a bank that tries to put its money and talents where its mouth is—supporting progressive agendas.
I am referring to Eastern Bank, the bank that handles the Engaging Peace account.
On average, since 1999, the bank has donated 10% of its net income to local charities, for a total of over 100 million.
This includes 7 million to nonprofits in 2016. Their 2017 Targeted Grant opportunity focuses on immigrants.
Quoting MA Congressman Joe Kennedy, they say, ““A great nation does not wall itself in. A confident nation does not close its door to the people that need her protection most. A tolerant nation does not target children who have only known her streets or retaliate against communities that protect their neighbors. And a nation built on the sweat and sacrifice of generations of immigrant families does not take that patriotism for granted.”
In keeping with their social justice orientation, Eastern Bank has regularly received awards for its success as one of the “Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality” and has been recognized as a “Leader in Diversity” for its workforce diversity initiative.”
Eastern Bank, it seems, is amodel for what a bank can do when its leaders actually want to make the world a better place. What a revolutionary idea!