10-25-2020 Women to Watch - Flipbook - Page 17
25 WOMEN TO WATCH
PHOTOS BY LLOYD FOX
32, Baltimore program manager,
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Carmera Thomas-Wilhite knows Baltimoreans have enough concerns to engage them —
environmentalism may not be at the top of the
But it’s at the top of hers, and she’s succeeding
in driving others to engage.
Last year alone, Thomas-Wilhite’s work to expand the Healthy Harbor Initiative helped volunteers grow more than 5 million oysters in the
Chesapeake Bay, improving water quality and
providing habitat for crabs and other organisms.
In about a decade of environmental advocacy,
she has testied at the local and state levels in
favor of plastic bag bans and against air pollution
from Baltimore’s Wheelabrator incinerator, and
advocated for residents dealing with ooding
from excess stormwater, pushing for infrastructure improvements.
This spring, she began leading about 50 staff
members on an internal Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice team, according to Will Baker,
president of the foundation. The team has pushed
strategies to promote equity and inclusion, such
as hiring and recruitment initiatives and an ex-
pansion of the organization’s network to include
more diverse voices, Thomas-Wilhite said.
“She makes environmental stewardship
meaningful to everyone, young and old, white
and Black, rich and poor,” Baker said.
Thomas-Wilhite sees herself as a convener of
“Nature calms us,” Thomas-Wilhite said. In
her free time, the Crofton resident enjoys visiting natural areas with historical signicance. “It’s
good for public health and mental health. So [I’ve
focused on] how can I be a good steward and help
others be a part of this.”
— Ben Leonard
WO M E N T O WAT C H