Three-Day “Homecoming” event to Welcome Back Accomplished Baltimore Natives and Alumni to Inspire New Connections to Baltimore and Build New Relationships with Local Leaders
Today, Baltimore Homecoming, Inc., a new nonprofit organization, announced that it will host the first annual Baltimore Homecoming here in Baltimore next year from October 3-5, 2018.
Over the centuries, Baltimore has exported everything from tobacco to whiskey to steel. Today, the city’s greatest exports are its people. Whether its athletes or entertainers, writers or scientists, thousands of our nation’s leading citizens hail from Baltimore or got their start here - but don’t always find their way back home.
The Homecoming will draw back to Baltimore a group of accomplished Baltimore natives and alumni from around the U.S. for three days of exploration and learning, pulling guests from the worlds of finance, industry, sports, entertainment, fashion, philanthropy, academia, journalism and the arts. Over the course of the three-day event, guests will hear from and meet the local innovators, entrepreneurs, activists, artists and community leaders that are reshaping Baltimore, sparking new friendships and connections. By inspiring guests to engage with Baltimore’s people, neighborhoods and institutions, the Homecoming will in the long-term give rise to opportunities for new investments, partnerships, and philanthropy.
A Host Committee of more than 40 Baltimore leaders from business, religious, educational and community institutions has already started meeting to shape the Homecoming Program (names listed below). A group of nine event Co-Chairs – including Julie Bowen, Calvin Butler, Josh Charles, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Ron Daniels, Amanda Lipitz, Wes Moore, Kevin Plank and Joyce Scott – will help to attract back a diverse and talented group of guests from around the country.
The initiative was co-founded by two Baltimore natives: Nate Loewentheil, former Director of the White House Taskforce for Baltimore City under President Obama, and JM Schapiro, CEO of Continental Realty. Nate grew up in the Hollins Market neighborhood in southwest Baltimore, and later in Towson; JM was born in Bolton Hill and is a fifth-generation Baltimorean. It is being run through a new nonprofit organization, Baltimore Homecoming, Inc. Nate serves as President & CEO; JM as Treasurer of the Board. The Homecoming team is coordinating with City Hall on the event.
“For the past nine months, we have been working hard to organize the Baltimore Homecoming and we are excited to make this announcement today. We appreciate the efforts of our Board and we are excited about our terrific co-chairs and the host committee members,” said JM Schapiro and Nate Loewentheil. “Going forward we are focused on highlighting the great things that are taking place around our City, east and west, north and south.”
“Baltimore’s story is being written every day,” said Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood, one of the largest anti-poverty organizations in the country. “I’m so honored to be a part of a community of Baltimoreans coming together to celebrate the past, and build this city’s bright future.”
The event draws inspiration from the Detroit Homecoming, now in its fourth year, which has successfully engaged hundreds of Detroit expats and encourages significant investment, philanthropy and partnership. While Baltimore and Detroit are very different cities, like Detroit, Baltimore has a deeply loyal community of ex-Baltimoreans around the U.S. Through the annual Homecoming conference, Baltimore Homecoming, Inc. will tap into this reservoir of goodwill, bringing new resources, new ideas and new energy to the city.
“This conference is poised to have a major impact on our people, places and things that are truly ‘Baltimore’ at their core” said Joyce J. Scott, who grew up in Baltimore City and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2016 for her artwork. “Just as this city has supported and fueled my creativity for the past 68 years, Baltimore Homecoming will help to ignite a resurgence of commitment, passion, and goodwill for local communities.”
Added Co-Chair Congressman Elijah Cummings, “Baltimore has so many young entrepreneurs, artists and activists that don’t always get the attention they deserve and I’m personally very excited that the Homecoming will put them in the spotlight in front of a powerful new audience.”
The event will be funded privately through individuals, foundations and corporations, with no expense to the public.
In addition to the Co-Chairs listed above, the Host Committee includes John Angelos, Toby Bozzuto, John Brothers, John Cammack, Tina Capetta, Jed Dietz, Matt Gallagher, Laura Gamble, Tom Geddes, Mike Gill, Nancy Grasmick, Mike Hankin, Fagan Harris, Al Hathaway, Samuel Hoi, Al Hutchinson, Jeff Johnson, Joe Jones, Kevin Liles, Bill McCarthy, Jamie McDonald, Mary Miller, Patricia J. Mitchell, Jay Perman, Debbie Phelps, Kevin Pierson, Marjorie Rodgers Chesire, Dara Schnee, Marc Terrill, Nichole Baccala Ward, Kisha Webster, David Wilson and Christy Wyskiel.
The Baltimore community will have the opportunity to nominate local leaders and organizations who are working to make impactful change and best represent Baltimore’s spirit. These leaders will be invited to participate in the 2018 Homecoming next October and to share their stories with out-of-town guests. Nominations can be submitted via social media (www.facebook.com/baltimorehomecoming) and online (www.baltimorehomecoming.com/nominate). Nominations can also be submitted for potential out-of-town guests.
About Baltimore Homecoming, Inc.
Baltimore Homecoming, Inc. is a nonprofit organization registered in the State of Maryland. It has applied to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status. Nate Loewentheil serves as President & CEO and JM Schapiro as Treasurer of the Board of Directors. The founding Board of Directors also includes Brandon Etheridge, General Counsel at The Baltimore Ravens, and Sophia Silbergeld, Director of Membership and Member Relations at the Greater Baltimore Committee.
The Homecoming is scheduled for October 3-5, 2018. More information is available at www.baltimorehomecoming.com.