The university’s entrepreneurship center will host a pre-conference forum with candidates for Maryland governor followed by its annual Economic Inclusion Conference to highlight economic opportunities in West Baltimore

   Coppin State University, College of Business, Center for Strategic Entrepreneurship (CSE) is a non-academic unit bringing technical assistance, entrepreneurial education, and research-informed innovation to small businesses, organizations, and aspiring entrepreneurs in Baltimore, Maryland.  

   On April 26, 2022, from 6:15 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. the CSE will host the Economic Empowerment Gubernatorial Candidate Forum with an esteemed panel of candidates discussing the economic plans for expanding economic opportunities in West Baltimore and the state. The forum will be held in the James Weldon Johnson Building on the Coppin State University campus and moderated by Kelly Swoope, news anchor for WMAR ABC2 in Baltimore. Participating candidates include Rushern Baker, Jon Baron, Peter Franchot, Doug Gansler, Wes Moore, and Tom Perez. The forum precedes the annual Economic Inclusion Conference at Coppin (EICAC) which is held virtually on April 28 and 29 from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM, an experience that brings thought leaders and the community together to address barriers to economic upward mobility faced by many in marginalized communities. 

   During the forum, candidates will respond to questions inspired by eight of the 12 categories identified by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Center for Economic and Social Science, Genuine Progress Indicator, and The Maryland Quality of Life Initiative. The categories of questioning will include education, healthcare, housing, income and poverty, social justice, personal and public safety, transportation, and the environment. The goal is to provide citizens with insight into their policy perspectives affecting the socio-economic future of the community.

   The Economic Inclusion Conference brings together local and national thought-leaders from the corporate sector, academic, public sector, and the community for networking and developing strategies for a brighter economic future. The first EICAC event for held in 2016 and was brought back in 2021 as an inaugural event during the launch of the CSE.

   The forum and the conference align with several initiatives launched by the CSE to advance the university’s legacy as an anchor institution and conduit for positive economic mobility. With programs offering startup assistance, real estate licensing for students, K-12 engagement, a 12-month undergraduate entrepreneurship certificate, alumni-led opportunities, faculty research, and unique social and community innovation, the CSE is at the forefront of transformation and revitalization in West Baltimore. 

   “Coppin State University, is pleased to bring these opportunities to our community; connecting the entrepreneurial ecosystem influencers, corporate sponsors, community college and K-12 partners, business leaders, and aspiring entrepreneurs,” said Coppin State University College of Business Dean, Sadie R, Gregory, Ph.D. Her statement was echoed by the center’s director, Dr. Ronald C. Williams who described the events as “representative of Coppin’s position as an academic and socio-economic innovator.” 

   To attend the Economic Empowerment Gubernatorial Candidate Forum in person or virtually, register at EICAC 2022 is a free virtual event and participants may register to participate at

For additional information, call 410-951-3444 or email 

Dr. Ron Williams
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