Politics & Business

New board chairman of the Higher Baltimore Committee vows to handle racial fairness, justice and inclusion

Calvin Butler. Photo credit: exeloncorp.com

The Greater Baltimore Committee has named Calvin G. Butler, Jr., the senior vice president of Exelon and the CEO of Exelon Utilities, the new chair of its board of directors.  Butler said that he would focus on improving racial equity, justice and inclusion in the Greater Baltimore region in his new role as head of the civic and business organization.

“I’m honored and humbled to step into the role of chairman during these truly unprecedented times, recognizing that we are all interconnected,” said Butler in a statement.

In his acceptance speech today, Butler noted that he was deeply moved by the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody. Upon reflection, he was reminded that interconnectedness in families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities is critical.

“Favoring one group over another causes societal challenges that limit progress for individuals, communities and cities,” Butler said. “We must all be in this together, interconnected.”

Given the social and racial injustices and inequities that have come to light since Floyd’s death, the GBC “has an even more important role to play in the overall progress in our city and region than ever before,” Butler said.

He said Baltimore has the available talent, energy, ideas and leaders to address social inequities and injustices. The GBC “can be the great convener” to bring these together to address such issues as the digital divide, workforce development, education and fair housing.

Butler said practical action steps the GBC will take include:

Conducting a review of bylaws, policies and procedures to ensure they are inclusive.
Providing formal racial equity training for GBC staff and Board members.
Adopting a set of principles and code of conduct committing to practices of racial equity and social justice.
Creating a more representative Board of Directors.
Evaluating and deciding each public policy position through an equity lens.
Conducting a series of programs to educate and provide needed resources so GBC member and non-member companies can create inclusive business environments.Butler said the GBC would “be intentional about our efforts to drive change. We can’t remain static. We can’t remain silent.”

Butler, who previously served as vice-chair, follows Paul A. Tiburzi, senior partner at DLA Piper, who has served as GBC chairman since 2017. Tiburzi will remain on the board. Butler will serve until May 2022.

The Greater Baltimore Committee is an organization of Baltimore civic and business leaders. Its influence is seen on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation, the business climate and quality of life in Baltimore. Over 500 member organizations are represented, including large, mid-size and small companies, nonprofits, education and foundations.

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