Recently, former mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is now the executive director of the National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) Foundation and Ben Jealous, a former leader of the NAACP, is the head of the Sierra Club, one of the largest and oldest organizations in the U.S. (AP Photos)

By Catherine Pugh,
Special to the AFRO

Two prominent figures of Baltimore have been named to key positions in national advocacy organizations. 

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former mayor of Baltimore City, was named executive director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation, the professional union for NBA players.

Ben Jealous, former head of the NAACP and former Maryland Democratic nominee for governor, was named head of the Sierra Club. He is the first person of color to step into the role at one of the nation’s best known environmental protection advocacy groups.

Rawlings-Blake will play a key role in amplifying pro basketball players’ “philanthropic efforts as we  continue to reimagine the possible,” she said. “This is a new chapter in my career and an amazing opportunity to lead the NBPA Foundation.” 

Jealous, as the first person of color to head the venerable Sierra Club, will play a key role in “a critical juncture in our transformation as we continue to discover more equitable and just ways to fight for more equitable and just ways to fight for a healthy and sustainable future,” Sierra Club President Ramon’ Cruz  said.

The Sierra Club is among the largest environmental organizations in the country with over a million volunteers members.  The 130-year-old organization is focused on its 2030 framework which includes cutting the natural equity gap in half, protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters, and transforming America’s energy system.

“New technologies and recent major progress in our nation’s capital have us poised to reduce  carbon emissions faster than ever before. I am proud to join the nation’s largest army of environmentalists and conservationists to help hasten that day,” said Jealous.

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