Eleven individuals who are changing Baltimore for the better. Meet the new class of Baltimore Community Fellows who will join a corps of over 140 alumni fellows.
A former high school football player who became paralyzed from the neck down, Van Brooks will emphasize to youth in the Franklin Square/Poppleton communities the importance of education and having an alternate career path. Through the Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Brooks will provide youth with afterschool and extracurricular activities to help develop the leadership, life skills and additional tools necessary to take advantage of opportunities that will help them achieve success. Read More »
Growing up, Shawn Burnett used art as a way to free himself from his neighborhood and express himself. Now, he wants to give other young people that same opportunity. Through his Walks of Arts organization, Burnett will use art as a tool to have an impact on the cognitive development, emotional health and social lives of underserved youth in Baltimore City. Read More »
In partnership with the Morgan Community Mile Initiative, Brian Francoise will establish the Sister Neighborhood Arts Program (SNAP!) to create a civic theater ensemble that will stimulate cultural organizing, dialogue and healing between two historically segregated neighborhoods in Northeast Baltimore. Read More »
Studies show that students in for-profit colleges are more likely to leave school with greater student debt loans and are more likely to default on their student loan debt obligations. In partnership with Civil Justice, Inc., Catherine Gonzalez will address and alleviate the impact of predatory student loan practices for Baltimore city residents. Read More »
Dwayne Johnson understands the struggle to find employment and housing after being incarcerated. In partnership with the Union Baptist Headstart Center, Johnson will establish the From Prison to Man of the House Initiative to provide essential housing and employment services, as well as mentoring to formerly incarcerated men returning to the Upton community. Read More »
After three growing seasons, Charlotte Keniston’s Pigtown Food for Thought Initiative has not only created access to fresh food for those in Pigtown, but has also created lasting friendships in the community. Keniston will expand on her work with the initiative to creatively re-imagine the Washington Village Pigtown community as a place to have access to healthy food through community gardening, the creation of a neighborhood farm stand, food and nutrition education and a neighborhood mural arts project. Read More »
Many Baltimore residents accused of a crime spend long stretches in jail awaiting trial because of what transpires during an initial step of the criminal justice process: the bail hearing. Zina Makar will work in partnership with the Baltimore City Office of the Public Defender to establish Pipeline to Habeas—an initiative that ensures that indigent defendants denied due process at the time of their bail hearings have equal access to justice. Read More »
Vincent Purcell, an engineer-turned social designer, will establish Boomspace—an entrepreneurial development and makerspace social design initiative that combines technology and workforce development to give opportunities to young adults ages 18-25 in underserved communities in East Baltimore. Purcell will partner with organizations with a strong history of working with people who have barriers to employment. Read More »
Renita Seabrook, a strong believer in rehabilitation, will partner with Alternative Directions, Inc., to establish Helping Others 2 Win, an experiential learning environment to give pre- and post-release adult female offenders the opportunity to benefit from evidenced-based programming to support their reentry into the community. The women will work on their self-esteem with mentors, learn decision-making techniques and essential computer and job training skills. Read More »
Agatha So will partner with the Southeast Community Development Corporation to establish a path to homeownership for undocumented Latino immigrants in Baltimore City. The would-be-homeowners have steady jobs or small businesses, and pay taxes, but aren’t qualified to buy a home because they don’t have a social security number. The program will include home-buying counseling and mortgage lending opportunities. Read More »
Roxanne E. Umphery will partner with the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative to establish Powerful Peers. Powerful Peers will organize and train volunteers in effective advocacy strategies to support those returning from prison to transition to stable living situations.
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