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Governor Baker along with Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and representatives from across the Commonwealth celebrated Black History Month with the swearing-in ceremony for the Black Advisory Commission.

Chaired by Deborah Enos, former CEO of Neighborhood Health Plan, the newly-formed commission will advise the Governor and Lieutenant Governor on issues relating to the economic prosperity and well-being of the black community living in Massachusetts.

Lt. Governor Polito expressed her appreciation for the commission’s goals, saying, “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.”

The 23-person commission, appointed by Governor Baker, is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who have all had an impact around the Commonwealth.

Among the guest speakers was Senator Linda Dorcena Forry of Dorchester, who explained her dedication to making sure that the black community, especially the black youth’s, voices are heard. “Massachusetts’ 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.”

“The Commonwealth continues to be a diverse and global community,” said Governor Baker. “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.”

The Black Advisory Commission will evaluate the priorities of the black community in Massachusetts and will make recommendations to the Governor and Lt. Governor by identifying up to three priority areas to be addressed over the course of the next two years. The Commission will meet at least every three months and will submit a formal written report on its work, findings, methodology and recommendations.

The Black Advisory Commission builds off 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.

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