Verizon Supports Cultural Diversity in Maryland With a Free Black History Month Open House at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Verizon on Saturday (Feb. 25) hosted a statewide Black History Month celebration and open house with government and community leaders at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture.  The event was free and open to the public.

During the open house, guests explored the museum, recognized community innovators, and enjoyed educational activities and entertainment.  There was food, educational gifts for the first 200 children, laptop door prizes and more.

Guests at this year's open house included Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md., 7th District); Maryland Senator and Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland Catherine Pugh; Maryland Senator C. Anthony Muse (D-26th District); Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler; and J. Howard Henderson, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Urban League.  The Empowerment Temple Choir also performed during a special recognition program at noon.

"At Verizon, diversity is as much about good business practice as it is the right thing to do," said Tabb Bishop, Verizon's vice president of government affairs - Mid-Atlantic region.  "Verizon serves some of the country's most diverse markets.  So, diversity always has been a part of our culture and an integral part of our business strategy.

"Our long-standing commitment is based on a culture of inclusiveness that leverages the diversity of employees, customers, suppliers and community partners," Bishop added.  "Black History Month is a great opportunity for us to celebrate and honor those individuals who have made a significant contribution and commitment in the past, and those who continue to make a difference today."

During the special program, Verizon recognized key Marylanders in the areas of community service, education and health care.  Recipients of the 2012 Verizon Community Innovator Award included:


  • Dr. Anne O. Emery, chair of the Board of Directors of Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy
  • John Jacob "Jake" Oliver, publisher and chief executive officer of The Afro-American Newspapers (serving Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County, Md.)

Charles County

  • Dr. Delores Datcher, president of C-Datcher & Associates in LaPlata, Md.

Prince George's County

  • Dr. Mickey L. Burnim, president of Bowie State University
  • Chinwendu Nwokeafor, an Upper Marlboro resident and student at Bowie State University

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 108 million total connections nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.