Eastern Bank reaffirmed its commitment to helping immigrants succeed at its Celebration of Social Justice on Oct. 23 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. Chau-ming Lee was recognized posthumously as the 2017 Wainwright Social Justice Award winner for his dedication in serving the immigrant community through his leadership at the Asian American Civic Association (AACA).
“Everyone who came to AACA felt at home,” said Boston City Council President Michelle Wu. She recalled going to the agency 15 years ago as a Harvard freshman to teach citizenship classes and recognized Lee’s work to help many immigrants become citizens.
The Celebration of Social Justice event, originally created by Wainwright Bank, presents the Wainwright Social Justice Award to nonprofits and individuals who have achieved outstanding success in addressing social justice issues. Lee’s family dedicated the $25,000 gift to creating the Chau-ming Lee Memorial Scholarship at AACA.
“Helping others was simply a part of his life, not a Monday-to-Friday job,” said Rachel Lee, the eldest of Lee’s three daughters. She attended with her mother Eleanor, son Logan and sister Alyssa. Lee’s second daughter Renee lives in Hong Kong and was unable to attend.
The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation granted more than $1.5 million to 170 nonprofit organizations supporting immigrants in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, including 150 $10,000 grants through its Targeted Grant program on Oct. 19.
“Chau-ming was a great person to be on your side,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in a video honoring Lee’s memory.
Eastern’s Targeted Grants annually focus on an area of great need – this year’s focus was “supporting immigrants in our communities.”
“At Eastern Bank, we focus on doing good things to help people prosper. This includes supporting the more than 1.2 million foreign-born residents in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island,” said Bob Rivers, Eastern Bank chairman and CEO.
In 2017, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation will donate $7 million to more than 1,600 nonprofits throughout eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire and Rhode Island as part of Eastern’s commitment to donate 10 percent of its net income to charity each year.
“We are only as strong as the communities we live in,” said Quincy Miller, Eastern Bank president.
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