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Contact: Barbara Herron, 410-732-9564  

BALTIMORE, MD (March 22, 2012) - The Opportunity Collaborative will launch its work with an event featuring two nationally recognized presenters on Monday, March 25, at the University of Baltimore Student Center, 21 W. Mount Royal Avenue, in Baltimore. Dr. Manuel Pastor will deliver the Keynote Address at 3:00 P.M., followed by a performance by Rha Goddess at 5:30. The Sustainable Communities Consortium will host a reception for Dr. Pastor and Ms. Goddess and our guests from 4:30-5:30.

The event is free, but attendees must RSVP in advance at Reduced-fee parking will be available at the Maryland Avenue Garage, Maryland Avenue and Biddle Street. Visit for directions.

The Opportunity Collaborative (the Collaborative) is the consortium working to implement our region's $3.5 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. The Regional Planning Grant program, an effort of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and administered by HUD, encourages grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to create more jobs and economic opportunities.  The Co-Chairs of the Collaborative are Mayor Josh Cohen of Annapolis and Scot T. Spencer, of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

The program places a priority on partnerships, including the collaboration of arts and culture, philanthropy and innovative ideas in the regional planning process. The staff of Baltimore Metropolitan Council coordinates the Collaborative's activities and serves as the fiscal agent for the consortium.

Dr. Pastor serves as director of the University of Southern California's Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and co-director of USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration. His most recent book, Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America's Future, documents the gap between racial attitudes and racial realities, and offers a new set of strategies for both talking about race and achieving racial equity.

Rha Goddess is a cultural innovator and social entrepreneur who brings over two decades of transformational "crowd rockin'" in the name of social change. As a world renowned performing artist and activist, her work has been internationally featured in compilations, anthologies, forums and festivals.

Members of the Collaborative include:
  • City of Annapolis
  • Anne Arundel County
  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Associated Black Charities
  • Baltimore City
  • Baltimore County
  • Baltimore Integration Partnership
  • Baltimore Metropolitan Council
  • Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative
  • Baltimore Regional Transportation Board
  • Citizens Planning & Housing Association, Inc.
  • Baltimore Regional Initiative Developing Genuine Equality (BRIDGE)
  • Central Maryland Transportation Alliance
  • Enterprise Community Partners
  • Greater Baltimore Committee
  • Innovative Housing Institute
  • Harford County
  • Howard County
  • Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Maryland Department of Planning
  • Maryland Department of Transportation
  • Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission
  • Morgan State University
  • University of Maryland, National Center for Smart Growth
  • 1,000 Friends of Maryland

If you are interested in learning more, or joining the Collaborative, please send an email to

Working to improve the quality of life in the Baltimore region.


The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) is the organization of the region's elected executives who are committed to identifying regional interests and developing collaborative strategies, plans and programs which will improve the quality of life and economic vitality throughout the region.


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 Barbara Herron
 Communications Officer 


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