Eastern Bank Honors Community Trailblazer Robert Lewis, Jr. With 2020 Social Justice Award
Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation is pleased to announce it has honored Robert Lewis, Jr., the Founder and President of The BASE, with the 2020 Social Justice Award. Now in its 32nd year, the award recognizes community leaders who have made an outstanding impact in addressing critical social justice issues.
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Pictured at Eastern Bank’s 2020 Celebration of Social Justice are left to right: Bob Rivers, CEO and Chair of the Board of Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Eastern Bank; Nancy Huntington Stager, President and CEO of the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation; Robert Lewis, Jr., Founder and President of The BASE and 2020 Social Justice Award Honoree; and Quincy Miller, President of Eastern Bankshares, Inc. and Eastern Bank. Photo Credit: Virginia Sutherland Photo
A social justice trailblazer who has overcome harrowing adversity, including his recovery from COVID-19 this year, Robert is a nationally and internationally recognized thought leader, social innovator and champion for urban youth. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for racial equity and breaking down barriers that prevent communities of color from reaching their full potential:
- In 2013, he launched The BASE, a nonprofit organization that empowers urban youth to succeed by leveraging sports to open pathways to higher education and meaningful employment in today’s workforce. Recognizing the importance of its work in providing food security, educational focus and other stability in the daily lives of the young people it serves, The BASE decided to remain open during the pandemic.
- Prior to his work at The BASE, Robert served as Executive Director of the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, President and Executive Director of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), Senior Vice President of City Year’s national operations and Executive Director of City Year Boston, and Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation.
- During his time with the Boston Foundation, he was chief architect of three groundbreaking initiatives aimed at reducing gun violence and promoting positive youth development: StreetSafe Boston, the country’s only privately funded anti-gang violence prevention program; Boston By Night; and CHAMPS Boston, which provided professional-level training for over 5,000 youth-sports volunteer coaches in Greater Boston.
Also known for working across the business and civic communities to create partnerships that improve outcomes in local neighborhoods and communities, Robert serves on several government advisory councils and most recently was appointed to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.