Elevating Community Solutions
"In every community, there is work to be done.
In every nation, there are wounds to heal.
In every heart, there is the power to do it."
— Marianne Williamson, Author                 

Even as we work with finalists in our fellowship program designed to build equitable talent pipelines into Baltimore's leadership throughout the social sector, we also are celebrating the incredible work of our first Elevation Awardees.

Providing another entry point for equity in leadership, Elevation Awards recognize that the city’s greatest potential change agents are already in its communities. These are people who already have intimate, long-standing relationships with the city, are familiar with its past, have hope for its future, and have an intensely strong desire to do the work needed to create that brighter future.

We are honored to support these change agents by equipping them with information, training, experience, administrative support, and initial financial backing as they work to make an idea a transformative reality. I hope you will join us June 28, both in celebrating our inaugural class of awardees who will present their work over the past year AND in thinking of potential awardees for next year.

Fagan Harris


Wendy Camilla Blackwell working with students on art projectWENDY CAMILLA BLACKWELL, Founder of Art Power, provides a safe haven for children to create, share, and sell art they develop. She has successfully completed two amazing quilt projects with two of her chosen sites, and has others in the works.

AISHA DACOSTA, Founder of I AM O'Kah!, has identified and is working with a team to build out, The Career Plug, an online service that will allow high school students more strategic and comprehensive access to scholarships, jobs, internships, and the like based upon their designed career goals. I AM O'Kah! also was the 2017 Brackets For Good Baltimore Champion, presented by Stanley Black & Decker!

KIMBERLY ELLIS, Founder of Breaking Bread LLC, has identified a community-based partner that is interested in working with her to host the 5-6 families that will take part in her five-week program to help shop, eat, and become healthier as a family.

Loads of Love mobile laundry truckSHANNON EPPS, Founder of HomeBound, is in the process of finalizing everything to make the Loads of Love Mobile Laundry Truck a reality, from identifying a plumbing, electrical and design team to finding the ideal truck that fits the needs of Loads of Love. On May 6, 2017, Shannon raised more than $3,000 at her very first fundraiser.

JAMAR JONES, Founder of Six Point Pictures, is finalizing a documentary featuring several Elevation Award projects, shedding light on who the Awardees are, why their projects are important, and showing the projects - in real time - as they are unfold and are being developed.

MICHELLE ANTOINETTE NELSON, Founder of Brown and Healthy K.I.D.S. (Kindness, Intelligence, Determination, Strength), provides mental, physical, and emotional health and wellness programming for youth, aged 8-17, who attend community centers, public and private school, and after school programs.

RONALD RIDDICK, Founder of Community Grocery, is working through the many moving parts that go into establishing a cooperative market focused on improving health and employment for residents of the Sandtown-Winchester area food desert.

Brittany Young with B360 studentsBRITTANY YOUNG, Founder of B-360, is building on the passion of Baltimore's dirt bike culture to engage students in STEM education. Her student teams have designed prototypes of dirt bikes and work with STEM and dirt bike coaches on different aspects of their projects. Brittany has met with the police commissioner and some of his officers to gain buy-in about her project, and has hosted a Brain Trust Meeting to explain B-360, as well as to engage the thoughts of potential stakeholders.

ALPHONSO MAYO is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Baltimore Corps who is leading Mentoring Mentors, an initiative that works to empower youth by providing tools that allow them to take ownership and responsibilities for their communities, actions, and outcomes. Alphonso's leadership is generously sponsored., and he receives additional coaching and support from Baltimore Corps. JACKIE CALDWELL is President of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council and an invaluable partner of Baltimore Corps. Jackie collaborates with Baltimore Corps to support its outreach and engagement efforts in the neighborhoods in which Baltimore Corps is headquartered. Baltimore Corps is proud to support the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council and its efforts to building a stronger Mondawmin neighborhood.


Elevation Awards Showcase
& Celebration



On May 9, President and CEO Fagan Harris was honored at Community Law in Action's (CLIA) Inspiring Voices 2017 for his dedicated efforts to create positive change in Baltimore City. Fagan was interviewed by Sydney Hill, a student in CLIA's Law and Leadership Academy. CLIA also hosts Baltimore Corps Fellow Natalia Skolnik.

Jeremy Pesner speaking at TEDx HerndonOn May 6, Jeremy Pesner, a Baltimore Corps Fellow serving as a data analyst for the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, talked futurism at TEDxHerndon.

On May 4, Visionary Cause Leader Arts Every Day. hosted a reception for its annual student art show at the Walters Art Museum. Baltimore Corps Fellow Precious Blake played a major role in bringing together this reception featuring poetry readings, drum performances, and musical numbers. The event reflected Arts Every Day’s decade-long work of supporting arts education and arts integration in Baltimore City Public Schools.

Baltimore Corps Fellows and Elevation Awardees were well represented at Strong City Baltimore's Annual Neighborhood Institute, held April 29.

youth trauma panelBaltimore Corps Fellow Kathleen Goodwin represented the work of the Baltimore City Health Department in a panel discussion on efforts to address youth trauma. The University of Maryland School of Social Work and Baltimore Child Abuse Center hosted the panel, following a screening of the film "Resilience: The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope," a documentary about the biology of Adverse Child Experiences and efforts in public health, education, and medicine to prevent and treat childhood trauma.

On April 27, Visionary Cause Leader SparkVision shared findings from their major research project on High Achieving Millenials and officially launched Phase II of the project. Baltimore Corps Fellow Cameron Polloch also interviewed President and CEO Fagan Harris for SparkVision's Millennial Voices blog.

Sarah Ritter with colleagues after receiving award from Baltimore City Police DepartmentCongratulations to Baltimore Corps Fellow Sarah Ritter, who was recognized for her efforts in helping the newly formed Neighborhood Coordination Officers, who will be working the Baltimore Transformation Zones, to successfully get training and begin operations. As DOJ Compliance Unit Associate at the Baltimore Police Department, Sarah oversees the implementation of several reform initiatives related to the the U.S. Department of Justice investigation. Additionally, Sarah assists the police department in determining how to best infuse social justice and procedural justice concepts into reformed policies and programs.

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