In the past, we have published an annual report that primarily listed the grants we made over the previous year and the generous donors who made that work possible. But we always knew that wasn’t the full story. That kind of report only provided a partial view of our work.
This year, we set out to create a report that taps into our vision for a more just and equitable Baltimore, the strategic thinking behind our programmatic decisions, and, most importantly, the impact of our work on the lives of residents throughout our city and, often, throughout the state.
As part of this effort, we arrived at a new tagline that sums up the approach and ambition of OSI-Baltimore as we begin our 20th year: Bold Thinking, Strategic Action, Justice for All.
Thanks to visionary leaders such as Clinton Bamberger, the founding member of OSI-Baltimore’s Advisory Board who passed away in 2016, we have always looked to take calculated risks. We have done this by setting ambitious goals, such as reducing Maryland’s incarceration rate by 50%, by advocating for new approaches, such as introducing Buprenorphine to medical clinics and offices throughout the city to treat opioid addiction, and by investing seed capital in the ideas of untested visionaries identified by our Community Fellowships program. These efforts do not always result in success but we have learned that, without bold thinking, we will never realize our vision.
Since its founding in 1998, OSI-Baltimore has always been more than a grant making organization. Our program directors are leaders in their fields with the expertise to craft strategies with the best chance to have a significant impact. Guided by a stellar advisory board, our staff uses a range of tools in addition to grant making—including education, advocacy, and technical assistance to government—to conceptualize and implement multi-year campaigns. Unlike many other foundations, we are committed to an arc of strategies and activities, from imagination to institutionalized change. We are comfortable working with government actors, advocates, and community members, often serving as an interlocutor to achieve results. And we always remember that lasting change in policies and practices requires consistent attention to the hearts and minds of Baltimore residents.
JUSTICE FOR ALL
The programmatic focus of OSI-Baltimore’s work has shifted over the years, but our commitment to a vision of justice and equity for all Baltimore residents has remained constant. As we know that we cannot achieve true justice for of our city’s residents by working alone, we partner with local and state government officials, academicians, advocates and community members to realize our vision.
We hope that you enjoy reading the stories and reviewing the data in this Impact Report and that it offers a genuine reflection of the mission and impact of our ongoing work.