Restoring Our Communities of Color



Because of our commitment to racial reconciliation and reparations focused on working with the repercussions of chattel slavery in America, the Diocese of Maryland and the Baltimore Interfaith Coalition (founded in 2020 under the direction of Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton) are committed to building relationships with and supporting those doing the work of building up Black communities and to educating all of us on our history and the role the Church has played in creating and perpetuating systemic racism. Dr. Lawrence Brown, author of The Black Butterfly and founder of the Black Butterfly Project and the Black Butterfly Academy, has played a role in helping us accomplish that work. It is our pleasure to introduce you to the scope of the research, action and community building that can be done under the leadership of people like Dr. Brown, institutions, and the Church. Below find out how you can support the Black community in Baltimore and learn how to apply the study of place and education about our history to your area.

Learn more here about the Diocese of Maryland’s reparations grants program and the work our first awardees are doing across the geographical area of the diocese to restore communities of color. Learn about our journey to reparations, the real meaning of reparations for us and how to contribute to our reparations fund.



In this video, Dr. Lawrence Brown, author of the Black Butterly, speaks to the history and responsibility behind our work. This talk was delivered at Baltimore Center Stage in May of 2022 to a secular audience. But listen closely – the entities responsible for creating our shared inherited mess are not all mentioned. Dr. Brown’s research, and where he has educated us, includes not only the city government, federal government, banks, and real estate agents’ roles in suppressing Black neighborhoods, but the media’s role, and most importantly to us, the Church’s role (through the government). “The entities which created the mess have the responsibility for creating the solutions.” In the Diocese of Maryland, we accept that responsibility. Thank you to Dr. Brown for his permission to use this video.

Video is cued up to begin with Dr. Brown’s 20-minute keynote talk.

Dr. Brown was featured on WYPR (local NPR) in May of 2021. Listen here.



Learn more about Dr. Lawrence T. Brown, author of The Black Butterfly and founder of the Black Butterfly Project and the Black Butterfly Academy. Dr. Brown has been a friend to The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, as well as other denominations, in sharing his research on the Church’s historic complicity in creating and sustaining systemic racism in America. Dr. Brown served as a speaker at the Diocese of Maryland’s 2019 Trail of Souls event and a speaker to the Baltimore Interfaith Coalition in 2022. His book is being used for study among church groups in our area and is helpful anywhere in the country in understanding the politics of race and space in America.



“A sure sign of our freedom is when we sign both sides of our check!” -Raymond V. Haysbert

Edward Lorenz, associated with early chaos theory reminds us that very small changes in initial conditions creates significantly different outcomes. This is the understanding underlying the launching of the Black Butterfly Network, and the Black Butterfly Exchange. The Black Butterfly exchange has seeded a network of Black enterprises in Baltimore, and a host of resources providing supports for these businesses. They believe the small, yet critical, change is that they are linking businesses and people to each other in a model that reflects the innate connectedness of the Black community that has enabled it to survive this long. Now it is time to thrive! 

This is the Black Butterfly Effect! WELCOME to the Movement!

BROWSE LOCAL BUSINESSES HERE courtesy of the Black Butterfly Exchange



This syllabus from the Black Butterfly Academy, courtesy of Dr. Brown, was compiled to highlight the impacts of ongoing historical trauma in Baltimore’s Black Butterfly communities. As such, this is not a syllabus of the complete history of Baltimore. What this syllabus attempts to capture most is how multiple systems in Baltimore were created and continue to proliferate structural disadvantage in Black Butterfly neighborhoods. Systems analyses here include education, real estate/housing, food/water, philanthropy, industry, transportation, public health, urban renewal, economic development, corrections, and police. Readers can click video images to view them. You can take courses from the Black Butterfly Academy by creating an account.