From the Nominators...
Race & Equity
Maryam Abdul: "Sis is a race equity queen, okuuuuur?! But on a serious note, I have witnessed the power of Maryam's sword and pen when it comes to advancing a citywide agenda for equity and racial justice. The work she does at the Annie E Casey Foundation coupled with her consistent denouncement of public policy and practices rooted in white supremacist ideology demonstrates her fervor for righting the many wrongs of Baltimore City's past."
Dimitri Digbeu: "Dimitri is the most thoughtful, contemplative, and introspective fellow regarding these issues, and he challenges others to think more deeply and take a more powerful stand to fight for equity. ... What truly separates Dimitri apart from others, though, is that he challenges all of us to do more and be better, at work and in our lives, to make Baltimore City a more equitable place for all its residents to live."
Ateira Griffin: "Ateira, because she works to advance racial justice in all aspects of her life. Whether she's creating a new volunteer opportunity, working with Councilman Cohen, speaking on her PointOfHue podcast, or leading a cohort with Baltimore Rising, it's guaranteed that Ateira is keeping her people woke.... I believe that Ateira has consistently demonstrated the power of putting words, advocacy, and social change into action since we first started with our Baltimore Corps Orientation back in the Fall of 2017. Her work with Zeke Cohen, along with her outspoken attitude to lift others up and her unwaivering spirit make her an ideal Fellow furthering Race & Equity."
Qubilah & Melanie: "Qubilah (Code in the Schools) and Melanie (Department of General Services) collaborated to create a technology career pipeline program for Baltimore City Public School Students called Code for the City. In this program, high school students took free, after-school computer science courses at CITS where they worked on real-world challenges from DGS, and then--by program design--one of the high school students was hired for a paid internship to implement their solution that they worked on at Code in the Schools. Both Qubilah and Melanie (and their VCLs) invested a lot of their time to make sure these students would succeed in their classes and their project implementation and to make sure that this program can serve as a model for future City Government + nonprofit partnerships."
Kanav & Dimitri: "Their podcast, Ground Zero, highlights individuals around Baltimore who are working toward social innovation, equity, and racial justice in their organizations.... I have seen these two hanging out and spending time collaborating on ways to not only deepen friendship and fellowship engagement, but also to combine their love of uplifting ideas together. There are dozens of times when I have witnessed them talking about the next big idea that could uplift others in Baltimore, or the social innovation concept that could take root in some of Baltimore's neighborhoods. They are like two woke bros with ideas befitting of a podcast."
BALTIMORE CORPS FELLOW EXTRAORDINAIRE
Cullin Brown: "He exemplifies everything BC of course! ...Recognized at his placement (Mayor's Office of Employment Development, City of Baltimore) for increasing sector effectiveness through his work on the YouthWorks 2018 Forum. Early in his career, he has chosen to put Baltimore first!"
Dimitri Digbeu: "When you ask about transformative work, there is only one name who comes to mind: Dimitri. If you go around this city, you’ll see him standing with people experiencing homelessness, passing out flyers about gun violence, directing political campaigns, and rallying to fight for a living wage. ...He recognizes that while big changes take time, there is always more that we can do. He is a motivating speaker, and an inspirational role model, yet retains a sense of humor and most importantly a sense of humility, which is what will truly make him a transformative leader. ...I admire what he does on behalf of the most vulnerable members of society, without seeking recognition for himself, and he certainly embodies the values that Baltimore Corps seeks to spread."
Kendra Hendrix "Kendra is a fearless, powerful black woman who over the course of the year I've come to call a sister and friend. She has tirelessly stepped up and spoken out about the need to engage black voters and organizers in Baltimore City and surrounding areas. I know for a fact that Kendra has lost many a night of sleep strategizing, individually and in community, to create innovative solutions to get young Black Baltimoreans fired up about political engagement.... No one in the cohort has embodied the Baltimore Corps values than she!"
Nicholas Mitchell: "I think Nick Mitchell deserves this award, because he's a true visionary and has done amazing work the Greenmount West Community. . It is clear that Nick puts his all into NoisyTenants and goes above and beyond to help the kids that he supports. Despite all that he does, Nick remains humble and approachable, which creates an inclusive and motivational atmosphere for all fellows."