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Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives Announces Impact of Ethnic and Cultural Commissions and Faith-based Partners During Coronavirus

Over 100 Multilingual Leaders Bring Life Saving Messaging and Actions to Diverse Communities

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Today, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives announced the impact of longstanding, trusted relationships between commissioners, faith-based partners, and more than 2.7 million Marylanders from diverse communities they represent during COVID-19. 

“Maryland has always been a leader in demonstrating what inclusive and innovative civic engagement looks like and the enormous impact it can have on our communities,” said Steven McAdams, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. “Governor Hogan has united service-minded individuals, which has empowered our state to act and come together during challenging times.”

As a community outreach arm for Governor Larry Hogan, the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives engages Maryland communities through the governor’s ethnic and cultural commissions, as well as faith-based partners, to connect with the diverse populations in our state, alert the state about real-time needs of communities across Maryland, and deliver the voices of citizens to state leadership. 

“Particularly during this COVID-19 timeframe, our office acts as a liaison to promote collaboration between Marylanders and their representatives to find solutions,” said Winston Wilkinson, Chief of Staff for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. “This includes serving others, amplifying life-saving messages from the governor, and tapping into Maryland’s diverse communities who are willing and able to fulfill critical needs.”

Commissioners and faith-based partners reached out to both established and new partners, which resulted in sharing state resources from 15 agencies and offices; translating COVID-19 information into 18 languages; the donation of more than 16,700 personal protective equipment items and 40,800 pounds of food; and assisting more than 2,300 families, individuals, and patients. Below are some of the highlights from various partners who are serving Marylanders:

Governor’s Ethnic and Cultural Commissions 

Ethnic and Cultural Commissioners learned from Secretary Robert McCord from Maryland Department of Planning about promoting the 2020 Census during COVID-19.

Commissioners helped create culturally-relevant information through providing answers to frequently asked questions in 17 languages and then supported this effort through active outreach.

Governor’s Commissions on Asian Pacific American Affairs and South Asian American Affairs


The Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs shared life saving information from the Maryland Department of Health translated in Chinese with the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center.

The Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs connected the Asian American Health Initiative with the Maryland Department of Health to deliver life-saving messaging in Hindi.

Commissioner Mayur Mody of the Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs worked with American Diversity Group (ADG) to donate 3,500 masks, 100 gowns, 10 boxes of gloves, 100 face shields, and more than 800-pounds food for 123 families (click here for video).


American Diversity Group provided free telemedicine, teledentistry, telenutrition, and pharmaceutical services for those quarantined and/or uninsured in coordination with doctors at multiple sites.

The Governor’s Commission on South Asian American Affairs, American Diversity Group, and Vietnamese American Services connected nail salon workers impacted by coronavirus to frontline heroes, resulting in a donation of 12,000 handsewn masks.

Commissioner Elizabeth Chung of the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs united the Asian American Center of Frederick, Salvation Army of Frederick, and Retired Senior Volunteer Program, (a branch of AmeriCorps) to serve $7000 of meals to 250 families (click here  for video).

Governor’s Commission on African Affairs

The Governor’s Commission on African Affairs and the American Nigerian Physicians Association recognize Dr. Ahaghotu and Dr. Unegbuare for caring for 23 intubated patients in the ICU.

Open Works, a partner of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs, created a collaborative emergency response effort with Innovation Works and We the Builders to engage those with 3D printers at home to produce  face shields for health care heroes.

Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture

The Maryland State Archives hosted Commissioner Maya D. Davis from the Maryland Commission of African American History and Culture to help donate equipment from the conservation lab to Anne Arundel Medical Center frontline heroes. 

Governor’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs

The Greater Baltimore Muslim Council, a partner of the Governor’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs, collaborated with Children Development Center and Outcast Food Network to serve food to families in the Westside Baltimore.

Faith-Based Partners

The Fountain of Life Grace Springs Church provides food weekly to 245 families. Nearly 20 local police officers, volunteers, and Spanish translators provided much-need support and services.

Tabernacle Church addressed access to food by serving nearly 1,500 individuals and families.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in partnership with The Nation’s Mosque, provided 40,000 pounds of food to Langston Hughes Center in Baltimore.

The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives’ faith-based partners have continued their excellent civic, humanitarian, and religious services during the COVID-19 crisis. Governor Hogan proclaimed April 5 at noon as a Moment of Prayer and Reflection – especially for medical professionals and first responders dedicated to protecting Marylanders during the health emergency. Faith-based leaders from diverse communities responded to the Governor’s call by organizing virtual prayers statewide. Many of these leaders also joined the Governor’s advisory group of faith-based organizations established as part of the “Maryland Strong” recovery plan to provide recommendations related to public worship and reopening the state.

Priest Chandrakant Chove, on behalf of the Shri Mangal Mandir Hindu Temple, led a virtual prayer engaging more than 150 participants.

More than five Korean Churches across the State organized a coordinated virtual prayer. (credit:

Colonel Rudwan Abu-Rumman, a member of the Governor’s Commission on Middle Eastern American Affairs, facilitated a virtual prayer with Anne Arundel and Prince Georges County Muslim communities. 



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