Maryland’s House speaker to join Baltimore County leaders during Black History Month Conversation Series

In honoring Black History Month, Baltimore County will hold a virtual series featuring four local leaders, including Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, to discuss their “successes, the barriers they have faced, and the path forward” to racial equity, according to a news release.

In weekly discussions between County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and other leaders, the Black History Month Conversation Series will highlight the accomplishments of:

  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County President Freeman Hrabowski III, listed by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012, once arrested as a child growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, demonstrating in protests during the civil rights movement, and who became the first Black president of UMBC in 1992 (Wednesday, 6 to 7 p.m.)
  • County Council Chair Julian Jones, a retired division chief with Anne Arundel County Fire Department, who represents the county’s 4th District of Woodlawn and Randallstown and parts of Owings Mills and Reisterstown, and who spearheaded efforts last year to enact local police reform (Feb. 10, 7 to 8 p.m.)
  • House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, a Cowdensville native and delegate representing Phoenix, Jacksonville and White Hall in the 10th District since 1997. In 2019, Jones became the first Black woman to serve as speaker as well as the first to serve as speaker pro tem when she was first elected by her colleagues to the position in 2003. She is the founder of the annual Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival, now in its 21st year (Feb. 16, 6 to 7 p.m.)
  • Newly elected Baltimore County Board of Education Chair Makeda Scott, the first Black woman to hold the position, and a communications professional with decades of experience in government and nonprofit work, including serving in leadership roles with the Baltimore Housing Authority; Maryland’s largest state employee union the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and as director of communications for Rep. John Sarbanes (Feb. 25, 7 to 8 p.m.)

Olszewski in a statement said that Black History Month “provides an important opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the successes of Black leaders and communities, as we also renew our commitment to ending racial disparities.”

Each conversation will be livestreamed on Baltimore County’s Facebook page and on the county executive’s Twitter.