February 5, 2021
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the Boston Racial Equity Fund will join efforts with the New Commonwealth Fund to advance racial equity and dismantle systemic racism in the City of Boston and Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To ensure these critical resources are swiftly invested in service of the communities most impacted by systemic racism and enduring economic and public health disparities, approximately $670,000 of the funds raised through the Boston Racial Equity Fund will be granted to the New Commonwealth Fund. An additional $65,000 will be granted to the City’s Equity and Inclusion Cabinet to advance its research initiatives, in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
“Our number one priority in the City of Boston is to embed equity into all of our work, and purposefully sustain the movement to achieve equity and dismantle systemic racism within longstanding practices,” said Mayor Walsh. “We are glad to grant the funds raised to the New Commonwealth Fund to support communities of color and make Boston a city where everyone has opportunities to thrive. I thank all our Steering Committee members, partners and donors for their generous support, and I am confident that through the Fund and the work of our Equity and Inclusion Cabinet, our efforts will have an immediate impact”
Mayor Walsh launched the Boston Racial Equity Fund in June 2020 and then nominated its Steering Committee members, several of whom also serve on the New Commonwealth Fund’s leadership board. While fundraising for the Boston Racial Equity Fund will be momentarily paused in anticipation of the mayoral transition, all interested parties are encouraged to make a donation to the New Commonwealth Fund. By leveraging combined resources, these Funds will help manifest greater impact and drive transformative change at both the state and city level.
“We are thankful to Mayor Walsh and the Boston Racial Equity Fund for taking these steps to help fulfill a mission we both share,” said Greg Shell, Managing Director, Bain Capital Double Impact Fund, and a founder of the New Commonwealth Fund. “This generous support will help further our effort to stimulate economic growth and increase employment in the communities who need it most. We believe that this kind of cooperation gives us all the best chance to positively impact these communities, and to transform our great city.”
In further support of this powerful partnership and to seed this grant, Mayor Walsh thanked AT&T for stepping up and committing a leadership donation of $500,000 to the Boston Racial Equity Fund with the understanding that it will now go to support the New Commonwealth Fund.
“We are deeply grateful to Mayor Walsh, Jocelyn Sargent and the leaders of the New Commonwealth Fund, as well as the many civic leaders across Boston, including Chief Crockett, Pabral Chakrabarti of the Boston Federal Reserve, and Lee Pelton of Emerson College, for their commitment and leadership on the fundamental issue of racial equality,” said Patricia Jacobs, AT&T Northern Region President. “At AT&T, we share their dedication to elevating diverse voices, and we’re honored to play a small part in this most important endeavor.”
This announcement also marks a collaboration between the City, its partners, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which will inform a data-driven action agenda to address the racial wealth gap. A portion of the Fund will be earmarked to support data collection and research that broadly builds upon the Reserve Bank’s 2015 Color of Wealth in Boston report.
“Increasing wealth for Black, Latinx, and communities of color is central to making Greater Boston more equitable, and we’re pleased to be invited to participate,” says Prabal Chakrabarti, Executive Vice President and Community Affairs Officer at the Boston Fed. “We’re exploring a number of questions that will ultimately provide relevant analyses and inform discussions about racial equity. Through these efforts and our existing programs we hope to help the region make progress in tackling the systemic challenges faced by communities of color.”
‘”There is no issue before us greater than delivering equity and justice for populations who have not benefited from our city’s prosperity. The New Commonwealth Fund, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and AT&T are powerful leadership partners to the City of Boston and our work to dismantle systemic racism and build pathways to generational wealth creation. Today we celebrate all the new opportunities our strategic collaboration will deliver for Boston residents.” said Dr. Karilyn Crockett, Chief of Equity for the City of Boston, who has led the creation of this fund along with Dr. Lee Pelton, President of Emerson College and incoming President and CEO of The Boston Foundation.
ABOUT THE BOSTON RACIAL EQUITY FUND
The Boston Racial Equity Fund was created in June 2020 to invest in nonprofits and initiatives that empower Boston’s Black and Brown residents, with the mission of closing the racial wealth gap and closing its enduring economic and public health effects. Since the Steering Committee members were nominated, the Boston Racial Equity Fund has focused on building a strong foundation for lasting systemic change. This has included bringing partners together, such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, to deepen research and data and increase opportunities for broader education about the impacts of the racial wealth gap in Boston and the Commonwealth. No funds have been awarded from the Boston Racial Equity Fund to organizations to date.
This press release was produced by the City of Boston. The views expressed here are the author’s own.