As usual, OSI Baltimore Community Fellows have been making waves lately.
Today, The Baltimore Sun posted current Fellow Meryam Bouadjemi‘s powerful essay about the families left behind when people go to jail, like her dad did:
As a society, we have trained our institutions to remember the crime and punishment, yet we forget the collateral devastation millions of families face when a parent is incarcerated. For most of us, the story ends when that police car pulls away, and we fail to consider the family that is left behind. We fail to support the children swept up in one individual’s choices and the impact of the system charged with holding him or her accountable.
As part of her OSI Fellowship, Bouadjemi founded Make Move Media to create campaigns around issues of returning citizens.
On Tuesday night, Skatepark of Baltimore, a project founded by 2010 Community Fellow Stephanie Murdock, held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its second phase which includes the replacement of wooden park structures with concrete ones and resurfacing the 11,000-square-foot asphalt area. Skatepark of Baltimore grew out of Stephanie’s fellowship, Skateboarding for Success.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the reconstruction of the park on 36th Street in Hampden, slated to begin this summer, should be completed by the end of the year. In another Baltimore Sun profile, Murdock said that her OSI Fellowship “was a unique opportunity to work while engaging youths in the skatepark development process through afterschool and weekend programs and activities for youth skateboarders. They learned advocacy skills by being involved in the development of a skatepark in their neighborhood, which kept them engaged and out of trouble.”
Also this week, the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts announced the finalists for the 11th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize. Among them, FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, an artistic collaborative that uses public art and social media to uplift survivors and promote consent co-founded by current OSI Community Fellow, Hannah Brancato. Brancato co-founded FORCE prior to becoming a Community Fellow. As part of her fellowship, she established Gather Together: a Survivor Support Network, which aims to better support survivors and transform cultural attitudes to prevent rape and abuse. Members of Gather Together will be part of a performance inspired by the Monument Quilt that is part of FORCE’s installation for the Sondheim prize.
The Sondheim prize gives artists an opportunity to exhibit their work at The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), and the competition winner will be announced during an award ceremony and reception on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 7pm at the BMA.
Lanaea Featherstone, a 2013 Community Fellow whose program “Empowering Latinos One ‘Click’ at a Time” aims to help Latino immigrant families in Baltimore use technology to get and keep better jobs, and help their children do better in school, was recently named a 2016 VIP Winner by the Maryland Daily Record. The VIP Winners recognize Maryland leaders for their tremendous accomplishments achieved before or by age 40. Lanaea’s project was also featured in our “Impact Series.”