We're Better Than This: A Conversation with Maya Rockeymoore Cummings

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Online via Zoom


We're Better Than This
A Conversation with Maya Rockeymoore Cummings

on her late husband Congressman Elijah Cummings' new memoir

Online with Berkshire County NAACP Past President Will Singleton

Wednesday, September 30th, 7pm
Free & online; registration required.
in partnership with the Berkshire Eagle and the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP & co-sponsored by Berkshire Gas

The late Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings was known for saying “We’re better than this.”

He said it in Baltimore, a city on the verge of explosion over police treatment of citizens.  He said it in Congress when microphones were shut down, barring free speech.  He said it when the President flaunted his power and ignored the Constitution.  He said it when the President resorted to bullying, name-calling and feeding racial divisions. We are better than this. He continued to say it until his final days last October.  He said it because he believed we must call out what is wrong and call on our better selves to make things right.

Cummings was known for his ability to referee contentious members of Congress and reach across the aisle for the sake of justice. Since his early days in politics, Cummings proved his abilities as a leader and legal mind who could operate at the highest levels of democracy, always working with – and for – the underserved.

Congressman Cummings' widow, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a political force for good in her own right, will share her memories, stories and observations about the life and legacy of Congressman Elijah Cummings, and how we can all carry forward his work.

 The event is free and open to all. Click here to RSVP.

Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings is a consultant, a politician, and the former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. She holds a Ph.D in political science from Purdue University, and is a fiery and compelling public speaker and fierce civil-rights advocate. She has worked on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Black Caucus, the House Ways and Means Committee, and as chief of staff for former New York Congressman Charles Rangel. In 2005, Maya joined the board of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and was elected Board Chair in 2012, the first African American woman to hold that position. She has served on a number of other boards, including Year Up Baltimore, the Baltimore Museum of Art, National Association of Counties Financial Services Corporation, Economic Policy Institute, National Academy of Social Insurance, National Council on Aging, Sustainable Health Enterprises, and Campaign for America’s Future. She and Congressman Cummings married in 2008.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and died there on October 17, 2019.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Howard University, serving as Student Government President and graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and then graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law. Congressman Cummings dedicated his life of service to uplifting and empowering the people he represented. He began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he served sixteen years and became the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem. First sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, Congressman Cummings proudly represented Maryland's 7th District for over twenty years. He became Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in 2011 and was appointed Chairman of the Committee in 2019.

About We're Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of our Democracy

In We’re Better Than This, Cummings details the formative moments in his life that prepared him to hold President Donald Trump accountable for his actions while in office. Cummings powerfully weaves together the urgent drama of modern-day politics and the defining stories from his past. He offers a unique perspective on how his upbringing as the son of sharecroppers in a South Baltimore neighborhood, rampant with racism and poverty, laid the foundation of a life spent fighting for justice.

Part memoir, part call-to-action, the book goes behind the scenes with the House Democratic leadership, offering an eye-opening account of the relentless and unprecedented obstructionism by both the President and GOP. Cummings’ final words present a vital defense of how government oversight defines our collective trust and makes the case that, even in the face of our nation’s most challenging times, we must remain rooted in the politics of optimism.

 The event is free and open to all, but RSVPs are required. Click here to RSVP.

We are grateful to Berkshire Gas,  the Berkshire Eagle, and the Berkshire County branch of the NAACP for co-sponsoring the talk.

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