BLocal pledges to expand economic opportunities

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Last fall, we announced the launch of HopkinsLocal, our institution’s effort to build, hire, and buy in new ways that will directly support our city and its residents. In the months since, with significant leadership from our local trustees, other Baltimore businesses have stepped up to join this cause. Today, Johns Hopkins University and Health System will join 24 other Baltimore organizations to announce BLocal, a sweeping economic inclusion initiative that will invest at least $69 million into Baltimore’s economy over the next three years.

We have often expressed Johns Hopkins’ commitment to Baltimore, and our recognition that our institution prospers when our city thrives. It is encouraging to see how many companies share our belief in Baltimore’s future and have pledged to strengthen the economic health of this city.

Through BLocal, companies of all sizes have laid out specific plans to increase their support for Baltimore by spending more on goods and services supplied by disadvantaged, women-owned, or minority-owned businesses in the city, providing summer jobs for city youth, and mentoring growing businesses. Participants have also pledged to spend more on design and construction contracts with local and minority- and women-owned businesses.

HopkinsLocal served as a spark for this program, but the momentum behind it has built steadily over several months. Soon after HopkinsLocal launched, several local Johns Hopkins trustees led by Mike Hankin, president and CEO of Brown Advisory, asked how their companies could amplify this economic inclusion mission. As those conversations spread, it quickly became apparent that many Baltimore businesses were similarly looking for ways to help strengthen the economic fabric of our communities.

Proud of the 25-member consortium represented at today’s launch, we continue to recruit new partners. As Calvin Butler, chief executive officer of Baltimore Gas & Electric and co-chair of the effort, has said, “Our commitment is made stronger by joining with others who care deeply for Baltimore to share knowledge and help direct resources where they make the biggest difference.”

We encourage you to go to the BLocal website to see all the participating organizations and their commitments to this effort. You are also invited to watch the launch event at 10:30 a.m. via livestream at

We want to thank the staff who coordinated our contributions to this economic inclusion program, and encourage you all to think local when we build, hire, and buy at Johns Hopkins.


Ronald J. Daniels
President, Johns Hopkins University
BLocal co-chair

Paul B. Rothman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical Faculty
CEO, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Ronald R. Peterson
President, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System
Executive Vice President, Johns Hopkins Medicine
BLocal co-chair