The Open Society Institute–Baltimore announces its 15th class of Baltimore Community Fellows, also its largest class since 1998. These social innovators and entrepreneurs join a network of 125 others, many of whom are still actively working with underserved communities in the city. This year for the first time two awardees have been designated as Black Male Achievement Fellows. These two individuals will receive additional recognition from the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which is dedicated to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S. It is the first fellowship program of its kind.
Brown will partner with the Union Baptist Head Start Program to establish You’re the Quarterback: Gameplan for Life. By focusing on the football team narrative as an organizing tool, Lawrence will help men in central Baltimore neighborhoods plan and succeed in getting jobs and health insurance. Brown’s fellowship is funded by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement.
Bailey will partner with the Tuerk House Recovery Centers to provide peer-to-peer counseling, social counseling workshops and employment preparation services for formerly incarcerated males before they transition from the facilities.
In partnership with the New Song Community Church, Bennett will establish Men of Valuable Action (MOVA) – a leadership development initiative that will work with men 18 and older to reduce recidivism, promote educational goals, encourage family stability and support career development.
In partnership with the Boone Street Farm, Carmona will manage the Greater Greenmount trash and recycling campaign. The campaign will educate residents in the community about proper waste disposal and recycling practices to protect urban water ways and reduce health hazards. She will use the Boone Street Farm as a platform to demonstrate the productive agricultural uses of waste in these neighborhoods.
Establishing a Baltimore area network of mental health professionals trained in culturally appropriate methods, Goodsmith and her team will provide counseling and therapeutic services at no or minimal cost to refugee clients who have experienced trauma.
Working in partnership with Community Resource Schools, Hornbeck will establish a system of support services, including an emphasis on community engagement, advocacy and partnerships with community institutions such as businesses and churches, designed to improve the education, health and well-being of children and families in each of the school communities.
As the co-founder of the Baltimore United Viewfinders, Kotleba will work with a coalition of community partners and the Maryland Institute College of Art to use digital media to engage East Baltimore youth in peer-to-peer arts and social justice programming.
In partnership with the Friendship Preparatory Academy at Calverton, Lee will establish the ImagineMe Book Project and build long-term mentoring relationships to support the academic and behavioral needs of middle school girls.
In partnership with Bike Maryland, Merriam will build Bikemore to enhance the mobility through biking of roughly one-third of Baltimore residents who do not own a car; and, by promoting all forms of cycling, he aims to increase the number bike riders and advocate for the rights, safety, and equality of Baltimore’s diverse cycling community.
Morgan will work to expand Gather Baltimore, a volunteer-based program that collects and gleans fresh produce donated by farmers markets and farms for distribution to people without a healthy food source in Baltimore through local hospitals, meal programs, and faith communities.
Collaborating with the Head Start program, Rahim will nurture and develop the interests of students and their parents in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics education. Parents will use the lessons learned to continue to engage in the child’s educational experience as the child matriculates through elementary school.
Rose will establish the Direct Responses Alleviate Misdirected Aggression Program (D.R.A.M.A.) to give African American male high school students and incarcerated adults an opportunity to use theatre and film as tools to navigate conflict without resorting to violence, with the goal of preventing a cycle of incarceration and recidivism. Rose’s fellowship is funded by the Open Society Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement.