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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