Create an Ella Baker Day in Maryland

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Ella Josephine Baker was born December 13, 1903, in Norfolk, Virginia, to Georgianna Ross Baker and Blake Baker. She became one of this nation's greatest activists and worked tirelessly to better the living conditions and opportunities for those less fortunate. Baker was known for her sincere belief in the potential and dignity of every individual.

Some of the most notable organizations Baker worked with are the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Ella Baker has been recognized by many as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

Why an Ella Baker Day?

WHEREAS, Ms. Ella Jo Baker, 1903-1986, spent much of her life organizing in the South and has served both this great nation and the Commonwealth as a leader, educator, and activist on behalf of underprivileged communities; and

WHEREAS, Baker was the granddaughter of enslaved Africans; and

WHEREAS, Baker strongly advocated that the common (wo)man, not solely recognized leaders, are the backbone of this country; and

WHEREAS, Baker is a model for working across party lines and ideological differences to build strong, effective coalitions; and

WHEREAS, Baker dedicated her life to serving those less fortunate by participating in a broad base of organizations including but not limited to the American Federation of Labor, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Voter Education Project; and

WHEREAS, the United States Postal Service honored Baker with a postage stamp as part of a special issue commemorating Civil Rights Pioneers; and

WHEREAS, numerous historical and other scholarly texts have documented Baker's lifelong participation in social movements; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting to recognize Ms. Ella Jo Baker as one of our nation’s greatest unsung heroes, as loved and appreciated by all those who had the opportunity to work alongside her, as an eternal believer in the potential, dignity, and importance of all people, and as an honorable and dedicated citizen; and

WHEREAS, April 16th marks the weekend that Ella Baker helped the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) come to fruition;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the residents of Maryland, do suggest the recognition of April 16 as Ella Baker Day in Maryland and call the attention of all our citizens.