Ravens legend Ray Lewis and a business partner are on a mission to create 1,000 jobs for city residents. They have modeled their firm, aptly named Baltimore 1000, as an extension of the Ferguson 1000 initiative in the St. Louis area.
Out in the Midwest, Ferguson 1000’s organizers have enlisted help from corporations and minority-owned companies and held hiring events to bring newfound employment to Ferguson and the surrounding region. The impoverished town attracted national attention in 2014 during riots after the police-involved fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Ray Lewis and his business partner, Dr. E. Lance McCarthy, have brought a similar idea to Baltimore, which watched its own problems with economic inequality aired on a national level during the Freddie Gray riots last year.
McCarthy told the Baltimore Business Journal Lewis has “always been community-oriented” and was a “natural fit” as a partner on the initiative.
Our country & our cities aren't going to change for the better – unless we change it. #Baltimore1000
— Ray Lewis (@raylewis) October 13, 2016
Baltimore 1000’s efforts kick off tonight with a speaking series at Morgan State University at 6 p.m. Lewis, McCarthy, Richmond McCoy, CEO of the real estate development firm UrbanAmerica, and Jeff Hoffman, who co-founded Priceline.com, will be lecturing at the school. The speaking event and reception tonight precede the initiative’s first hiring event tomorrow at Morgan State from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Under Armour, Comcast and the Baltimore Police Department are among those scheduled to be hiring there.
Job-seekers and employers can also enter their information at any time on the initiative’s website.
It’s great to see Lewis has Baltimore’s future in mind, having spent his entire 17-year NFL career with the Ravens. While the team could probably use some of his help on the sideline this year, he is perhaps better-equipped to help infuse some economic vitality into the city’s underserved areas.
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