Priscilla E. Flint-Banks is a licensed minister and community organizer who has dedicated her life to community advocacy and outreach for more than three decades. Since 2012, she has been the director of the Black Economic Justice Institute, a nonprofit organization that she helped to establish. Created as a voice to represent women and people of color in the Boston hiring market and enforce company compliance to minority hiring quotas, the Black Economic Justice Institute works to create programs that offer broader economic opportunities for the people they serve. Ms. Flint-Banks emphasizes the organization’s long-term battle to ensure the accessibility and stability of high-quality, well-paying jobs throughout the community, noting that many Boston jobs are created by unions, which have traditionally had low participation rates among communities of color.
Ms. Flint-Banks explains that the inspiration for the organization came from her experience as an organizer and member of the Boston Employment Commission, attending community meetings with developers and government organizations. Frequently one of the only women of color in the room, she acted to become a voice for the community, creating the Black Economic Justice Institute to help recruit other organizers and demonstrate, adding that “if we have the people, we have the power.” In addition to her leadership role with the Black Economics Justice Institute, Ms. Flint-Banks is the host of three radio shows, “The BG Report,” “People Power with Priscilla,” and “The Civic Engagement Hour,” which receives syndicated broadcast on more than 41 area media outlets.
Prior to focusing on her work with the Black Economics Justice Institute, Ms. Flint-Banks spent 20 years as an employee of the city of Boston. She worked first with the Elderly Services Department/Age Strong Commission before spending a number of years in both the payroll and general services departments. She began her career as a member of the staff of the Bank of Boston, where she spent nearly 10 years before transitioning into the public sector. Ms. Flint-Banks retired from the city of Boston in 2010 to become a minister and focus on her work in the community. A graduate of Cambridge College, she holds a Master of Education.
As a part of her commitment to ensuring fairness and equity for all residents of the Boston area, Ms. Flint-Banks works with numerous organizations providing services and assistance, including the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Mothers for Justice and Equity, the Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, and the Leadership Forum, among many others. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Ms. Flint-Banks founded the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, providing masks, resource assistance, and wellness checks to members of the community, as well as funding and staffing a vaccine truck and other vaccine access assistance initiatives. Her recent projects include work with the Marcus Hall Civic Engagement Academy, a nonprofit organization teaching citizens how to run for public office; providing spiritual support by preaching in the community; and distributing more than $100,000 in prepaid laundry and gift cards to those in need.
A gifted writer as well as a fearless community advocate, Ms. Flint-Banks is the author of “I Look Back and Wonder How I Got Over,” an inspirational memoir detailing the challenges that she has overcome and the transformational work that she has done in the community, which was published in 2010. She hopes to complete another book in the coming years, and is currently in the process of adapting one of her earlier works into a screenplay. She is active in the NAACP, and has been honored with an NAACP Image Award in recognition of her outstanding work in radio and television.
Ms. Flint-Banks attributes her success to God and considers her work to be the fulfillment of a calling and a lifelong purpose. She is inspired to work on behalf of others in hopes of correcting injustices, citing the tragic loss of her two young children in accidents, as well as the ongoing struggles experienced by communities of color, as major motivators. Though Ms. Flint-Banks considers her work to be ongoing, she hopes to eventually be able to retire and travel in Africa, enjoy life, and take some rest.