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In the news: Ralph C. Martin II

In the news: Ralph C. Martin II
Ralph Martin (second from right) COURTESY PHOTO

Eastern Bank Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Boston-based Eastern Bank,honored Ralph C. Martin II with the 2022 Social Justice Award. The award, now in its 34th year, recognizes community leaders who have made an outstanding impact in addressing critical social justice issues. Ralph has dedicated his career to advancing economic inclusion, and his commitment to social justice in our communities endures.

Through his 40-plus years of service as a public leader, business advisor, mentor and trial lawyer, Martin has worked to bridge the gaps created by systemic inequities and build stronger communities. He is widely known across the region for his inclusive leadership, and advocacy for people and communities who are historically underrepresented.

Watching his father, a New York City Police Officer in the 1940s and 1950s, experience racism in the police department, Martin was influenced at a young age. His father introduced him to a Black prosecutor, who sparked Martin’s passion to make a difference and served as a role model for him.

His career is defined by varied roles in law, healthcare, business, government and academia, and, through it all, he has consistently risen to leadership roles in our communities. He has pioneered efforts at the intersections of law, business strategy, public policy and government regulation, and applied what he has learned to advance equity and inclusion. He most recently served 11 years at Northeastern University, where he was senior vice president and general counsel.

He is also the former Suffolk County District Attorney, having served as the first Black, elected prosecutor for Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop for 10 years, where he was credited with helping to oversee substantial changes in the way law enforcement collaborated with other agencies to improve crime prevention and prosecution. Martin served two separate terms as chair of the board of The Partnership, Inc., the premier New England organization focused on workforce development for professionals of color at all levels of leadership. He previously served as a partner and Boston Office managing partner with Bingham McCutchen, as chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and as a board member at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He is currently a Partner at Prince Lobel,and serves on both the board and executive committee of Boston Children’s Hospital.