Diane Bell-McKoy

We Invite You To Stand – A Message From Diane

Dear Friends,

We are thrilled that so many were able to join us, in person, at our recent annual gala for the first time since 2019.  I do not think any of us expected that the lockdown which began on March 15th of 2020 would still be impacting our lives today.  As happy as we are that we have turned the corner, as both a community and a nation, ABC’s role as a champion for the Black Worker and a vanguard institution with the mission to advance racial equity in the workforce ecosystem is even more critical.

As I reflect on my sixteen years with ABC, I am extremely proud of the values and the work that this team has continued to push forward.  Even when we were the only organization at the table attempting to amplify the voices and improve economic outcomes for Black workers, I still knew that ABC would be the impetus for the change.  We reframed our agenda so that we could address the root cause of the disparities that exist for African-Americans, structural racism.  It was not a popular agenda; however, ABC’s Board and staff never wavered in their dedication to the mission.  Our work touches close to 2000 people each year, and we firmly believe that as we persevere, the often-silenced voices will be heard, and our goals will be achieved. Nonetheless, there is still much work to be done, and we cannot do it alone.

If we, as a country, do not have the collective willpower to act and save our children and the most vulnerable adults, Black adults, from mass shootings, I am not sure we can save ourselves from the intentional economic disregard of Black workers in this country. Our only hope may lie in as many organizations and individuals as possible joining forces to educate, share data, measure data, and provide concrete information about the negative reality for Black workers and how it impacts everyone else.  As core supporters of ABC, you represent the determination that a better future for Baltimore must include an active engagement and investment in bringing down the walls of racial inequity that limit the economic opportunities for Black citizens and people of color.

Thank you for sharing a time of reflection, regrouping, and celebration with us.  ABC’s annual gala remains a moment in the year when we are blessed to uplift the body of work we carry and renew the purpose that each partner, donor, and staff member of ABC carries within them each day. We will continue to stand. We invite you to do so with us.


Diane Bell-McKoy

President & CEO • ABC