Contact: Evan Serpick
Social entrepreneurs working locally to address problems in Baltimore’s underserved communities will receive $60,000 each over 18 months
BALTIMORE – In a press conference on Monday, November 1, Open Society Institute-Baltimore announced a new cohort of 10 Community Fellows who will use $60,000 grants to launch or expand projects designed to address pressing problems in Baltimore’s most underserved communities.
The new fellows include Brion Gill, a professional poet whose project, Free Verse, will bring poetry and spoken word to young people in prisons and group homes, Hannah Brancato, who will use her fellowship to build public healing spaces for survivors of domestic abuse and rape, and Gregory Carpenter, an ex-offender who will train other ex-offenders returning to the community with baking skills and job placement services. You can find full profiles of all 10 2015 Community Fellows here.
Here’s a preview of some of this year’s Community Fellows in action:
The new fellows join 160 alumni of the Community Fellows program, which OSI-Baltimore launched in 1998. Among the many Baltimore groups that started with OSI-Baltimore fellowships are Wide-Angle Youth Media, Bikemore, the Right to Housing Alliance, Community Law in Action (CLIA), Community Conferencing Center, and Baltimore Green Space. Read profiles of some of OSI-Baltimore’s previous 160 Community Fellows here.
As the only field office for the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs, Open Society Institute-Baltimore focuses on the root causes of three intertwined problems in our city and state: drug addiction, an overreliance on incarceration and obstacles that keep youth from succeeding both inside and outside the classroom. We also support a growing corps of social entrepreneurs committed to underserved populations in Baltimore. Before we make a single grant, we analyze the root causes of a problem and examine research and innovative practices aimed at tackling the problem. Because we aim for lasting, sustainable solutions, we engage public and private partners from the start. It is only then, with a clear picture of the problem, that we begin to focus our approach and diligently craft a road map for change. Visit us on our website: http://www.osibaltimore.org/