BALTIMORE—On May 10, the 10th annual Maryland Washington Minority Companies Association (MWMCA) spring breakfast and business expo in Baltimore celebrated mothers.
At the event, distinguished members of the community spoke of their moms’ personal and professional influence on their lives.
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president and CEO of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, said that his mother grew up in a little country town in the deep south, where she once served as a maid.
“One woman was nice enough to say, ‘Maggie, when you finish your work you can go into the library and read,’” he said.
Hrabowski’s mother later became a teacher, often testing her lessons on the young Hrabowski. “She would give me food and math,” he said. “I would get smarter and fatter all the time.”
Hrabowski said his mother instilled in him a love of knowledge and understanding of the power of education.
A science and math education researcher with a special emphasis on minority participation and performance, Hrabowski was recently named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Hrabowski has also received numerous awards and recognitions including being named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in 2012.
MWMCA honored Hrabowski with the Visionary of the year Award. The organization also recognized Maryland State delegate Aisha Braveboy as Legislator of the Year. She expressed gratitude for the lessons learned from her mother .
“She always taught me to seek the truth,” said Braveboy.
Braveboy was among the 21 honorees recognized by MWMCA. Other honorees included Darrell Mobley, acting Secretary Maryland Department of Transportation, and Harold Williams, Commissioner with the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Somewhat like a mother, MWMCA provides support, education, and technical assistance to new and small business members and identifies woman and minority contractors to work on projects.
Minority- and women- owned businesses have been recognized by local leaders for creating jobs and positively impacting local communities. The Baltimore Grand Prix racing festival brought a much needed, estimated $42.3 million in economic impact to a city amid a revitalization.
“A strong minority- and women- owned business community benefits and strengthens our entire city, and is the backbone of a growing economy,” wrote Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, in a letter welcoming participants to the MWMCA breakfast and expo.