Thursday, February 23, 2017

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito Celebrate Black History Month with Launch of Black Advisory Commission

Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Polito Celebrate Black History Month with Launch of Black Advisory Commission

BOSTON – Today during Black History Month, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito celebrated the launch of the Black Advisory Commission, signing an executive order and swearing-in several members of the commission who will advise on issues relating to the economic prosperity and well-being of the black community living in Massachusetts. Deborah Enos, Executive Consultant and former CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan, will serve as Chair.

“Our priority will continue to be the fostering of economic inclusion and equality for all citizens of the Commonwealth, and we recognize the challenges to advancement many in Massachusetts’ black community still face,” said Governor Charlie Baker.“The Commonwealth continues to be a diverse and global community, and through this Commission, we look forward to the opportunity for additional engagement and dialogue with leaders and experts in the black community and re-affirm our commitment to addressing their concerns and ensuring we promote their strength statewide.”

Members of the Commission include gubernatorial appointees with varying roles in many community, professional and non-profit organizations and represent a group diverse in gender, race, industry, region, age and education. The Commission will also include the involvement of the secretariats for Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, Public Safety and Security and Labor and Workforce Development. Appointees serve for a term of four years.

“Massachusetts’ black community has contributed greatly to advancing progress in the Commonwealth’s economic, education, social, cultural and technological fields, and we remain dedicated to supporting and enhancing opportunities for it to continue doing so,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “I am confident the members of this Commission will significantly aide in identifying more ways to create economic prosperity drivers and opportunities for every Massachusetts resident across the state and I look forward to their recommendations.”

The Commission will review and assess the priorities of the black community on a statewide basis and make recommendations to the Governor and Lt. Governor by identifying up to three priority areas to be addressed by the Commission over the course of the next two years. It will meet at least quarterly and will submit a formal written report on its work, findings, methodology and recommendations to the Governor and Lt. Governor every two years.

“Massachusetts’s strength comes from its diversity. Reestablishing the Governor’s Black Advisory Commission acknowledges the importance of having the black community’s voice and issues at the table,” said Senator Linda Dorcena Forry (D – Dorchester). “There are many areas this Commission will be helpful like working with the Office of Access and Opportunity in making sure the state increases procurement dollars for black owned businesses. Also, one of the priorities we want to tackle this legislative cycle is real criminal justice reform.  I look forward to continue working with the Baker Administration and my colleagues in the legislature in breaking down barriers and creating a level playing field for all of our residents,” concluded Senator Forry.

“Massachusetts has a vibrant and diverse community and I am focused on making sure that all are able to share in that prosperity,” said Representative Russell Holmes (D-Mattapan). “I’m proud to be involved in the reestablishment of the Black Advisory Commission and to further our progress in the areas of economic, educational and social justice here in the Commonwealth.”

The Black Advisory Commission expands the mission and scope of the African-American Commission, recognizing the black community’s inclusion of those identifying with many national origins and ethnicities, not limited to African-American, Cape Verdean, Haitian, Jamaican, Somali, or Ethiopian.

Deborah Enos
Executive Consultant

Bithiah Carter
President, New England Blacks in Philanthropy

Darla DeGrace
Director of National Diversity Recruitment and Strategic Partnerships, City Year
President, Boston Chapter of the National Black MBA Association

Licy DoCanto
Founder and President, the DoCanto Group

Paul Francisco
Managing Director and Head of  Diversity Consulting, State Street Corporation

Keith Greenaway Esq.
Managing Director, Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council

Elisabeth Jackson
Executive Director, Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Imari Paris Jefferies
Nonprofit Strategic Consultant

Karen Johnson
Managing Director of Product Sales, Debt Exchange

Robert Johnson, Ph.D
President, Becker College

Rachel Kemp
Registered Representative, Pickwick Capital Partners

Robert Lewis, Jr.
President and Founder, THE BASE

Chiderah Okoye
Industrial Sales Manager, Northeast Electrical Distributors
President, Boston Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers

Jacques Parent
Deputy Director of Military Family Programs, Army National Guard

Sharon Scott-Chandler, Esq.
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)

Azanda Seymour
Director of the Urban Education Program, Westfield State University

Cheryl Stanley, Ed.D
Dean of Education, Westfield State University

Ronia Stewart
President & CEO, Garden of Eden & Associates, Inc
Board of Directors, Black Economic Council of Massachusetts (BECMA)

Tanisha Sullivan, Esq.
Senior Corporate Counsel, Sanofi
President, Boston Chapter National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Kirk Sykes
Senior Vice President, New Boston Real Estate Investment Funds
President of Urban Strategy America Fund, L.P.

Macken Toussaint, Esq.
Associate, Riemer & Braunstein Law
President, Boston Women in Finance

Victor Woolridge
Vice President of Debt Placement & Syndications, Barings Real Estate Advisers

Abdi Yusuf
Executive Director, Somali Development Center

For Gubernatorial Appointee Bios, Please Click Here.

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