Program Empowers the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders in Baltimore

Posted July 3, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Program empowers young leaders in Baltimore

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, together with Community Wealth Partners, is working to equip young leaders in Baltimore with the tools and support needed to create self-sufficient, sustainable nonprofits.

Launched in May 2019, the Baltimore Young Leaders Professional Development Program will run for six months and help leaders from 13 organizations strengthen their fundraising, budgeting, board development and data-analysis skills.

The 15 participants are:

  • Michaela Brown, Black Leaders Organizing for Change;
  • Ciera Daniel, Young Kings’ Leadership Academy;
  • Karlene Graham, Wellness Ally;
  • Rashad Hawkins, B-More Awesome Inc.;
  • Ralikh Hayes, Black Leaders Organizing for Change;
  • Jamal Jones, Baltimore Algebra Project;
  • Tonee Lawson, The Be. Organization;
  • Alphonso Mayo, Mentoring Mentors;
  • Elijah Miles, Tendea Family;
  • Evelia Miller, New Lens;
  • Tre Murphy, Black Leaders Organizing for Change;
  • Ana Rodney, MOMCares;
  • Rashad Staton, Baltimore City Public Schools;
  • Reuben Wynn, Youth as Resources; and
  • Brittany Young, B360 Baltimore.

A study by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore inspired the program. The study and resulting report, Young Gifted and Underfunded, reveals that many youth leaders in Baltimore believe that:

  • their age is barrier to receiving funding;
  • they lack the tools and support to create strong, self-sufficient organizations;
  • the grantmaking process is burdensome and shaped by distrust and racial bias; and
  • philanthropy prioritizes solutions to problems favored by academics and experts instead of embracing strategies shaped by communities.

Participant Jamal Jones, 27, co-executive director of the Baltimore Algebra Project, compared the program’s aims to learning how to make dinner for someone.

“If you’re going to make dinner for another person, you should probably know what they like and how they like it. We need to know: What are funders looking for and how are they looking for it?” says Jones, whose group facilitates teaching Baltimore youth advanced math and organizes them to fight for fair educational opportunities. “I think this program will give us a much better sense of what funders want because we’ll be talking to and learning directly from philanthropic leaders.”

Talib Horne, director of Casey’s Baltimore Civic Site, is looking ahead — to the program’s long-term benefits. “Young people are the future leaders of philanthropy and social change,” he says. “So, it’s critical that we support their work and professional development now.”

See how young people are reshaping Baltimore’s workforce system

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