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From The Desk of Chrissy Thornton

Yesterday, in the presence of many of our collaborators, and with most of our board of directors on hand, I had an opportunity as the new President and CEO, to unveil a new strategic vision for Associated Black Charities. Today, as we celebrated our new path forward, it became necessary for us to issue the release below to address what we found to be inaccurate reporting from the Baltimore Business Journal. As part of our commitment to transparency, we want our valued partners, stakeholders, and the community to know that we will consistently be direct in addressing reporting or commentary that is false and serves to damage ABC’s organizational efforts. We have much work to do and thank you as always for your support.

Chrissy M. Thornton

President & CEO

Associated Black Charities

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January 27, 2023

Baltimore, Maryland—

The Board of Directors of Associated Black Charities has issued a request for retraction and update to a story published in the Thursday, January 26th online edition, and Friday, January 27th print edition of the Baltimore Business Journal which contained inaccuracies and misrepresentations that are intentionally damaging to the organizational efforts of the venerable non-profit. The story, headlined “Associated Black Charities loses multi-million dollar grant contract highlighted in scathing city audit”, and written by BBJ senior writer Melody Simmons contains an inflammatory headline, and goes on to falsely claim the loss of a contract.

In February of 2022, Associated Black Charities sent a letter to the Baltimore City Health Department asking to be removed from consideration to continue work as the fiscal agent for the Ryan White HIV Assistance fund. The Health Department accepted the request for removal and pivoted to consider other proposals. Also in 2022, with a focus on transition, transparency, and transformational change, ABC voluntarily chose to no longer act as fiscal agent for any organizations and to continue building on its core mission of dismantling structural racism, advocating for economic equity, and supporting capacity building of community-based organizations and nonprofits that are in pursuit of the same goal. Associated Black Charities also launched a national search to replace its outgoing CEO.

Yesterday, January 26, 2023, Associated Black Charities invited the BBJ and reporter Melody Simmons to attend a meet & greet with press availability to introduce new CEO Chrissy Thornton and to hear the new organizational strategic goals in advance of the publication of any article. While they declined to attend, they moved forward with an inaccurate and incomplete story. In light of this, Associated Black Charities has sent a letter to the Baltimore Business Journal requesting a retraction and update to their story to correct inaccurate information along with a request to have a heightened awareness of the disproportionate level of scrutiny and negative coverage aimed at Black-led and Black-focused organizations by local media.

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