To All Who Are Concerned,
Associated Black Charities (ABC) acknowledges structural racism's effect on the racial wealth gap, workplace discrimination, health inequity, disparities in housing policies and practices, educational inequality, discriminating and dehumanizing laws and policies, and more. ABC’s mission is to eliminate structural barriers and advance long-term solutions that create new opportunities for African Americans to thrive. Using an equity framework as a convener and thought leader to end race-based barriers that impede African Americans from having an opportunity to succeed is at the heart of all of ABC's initiatives.
We value our role as connectors in the Greater Baltimore community and feel that we are uniquely positioned to set the table for communication and positive exchange among all of the stakeholders that want Baltimore to be better.
We understand that empowerment must be included in racial equity work as it helps to uplift and support our communities of color, giving them a voice and a role in shaping the solutions to the challenges they face. We feel that the work is about creating conditions that allow individuals and communities to have control over their own lives and to shape the systems and institutions that impact them.
When individuals and communities are empowered, they are better able to identify and address their own needs, and to advocate for their rights and interests.
On Tuesday May 30, 2023, ABC joined Broadway East community in Baltimore to ensure the community’s voice is amplified, and that their experiences and perspectives are shared in a way that gives both attention and visibility to their issues and causes. It is our commitment to provide a platform for community voices to be heard and valued.
In our goal to help create and foster greater collaboration, cooperation, and effective solutions; we partnered with the Temple Church and Ministries, pastored by Dantwan Broady.
We convened residents, community organizations, faith leaders, government representatives, and other stakeholders at the church. Stakeholders were invited to discuss their work and bring forward community resources and the floor was opened for dialogue about what is going well in the community, and issues that need to be addressed with collaborative attention.
In addition to community residents and the Temple Church and Ministries Leadership, notable attendees included representatives from Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland PATIENTS Program, Focus on Communities United For Success (FOCUS), AARP, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Broadway East Community Association, United Way, and officials Delegate Stephanie Smith and City Council President Nick Mosby.
What ABC Heard:
· Catchafire – a network of volunteers, nonprofits, and funders working together to solve urgent problems and lift up communities
· Baltimore Planning Academy – has a focus on communities that do not have a lot of development and rebuilding
· Infusion – gives money and grants for communities specifically in East Baltimore
· AARP – Helps to make communities livable, allowing seniors to age in place
· Delegate Scholarships are available for constituents in Broadway East
· Officials are working on the creation of after-school programs (with a focus on exposing female students to sports and athletics)
· There is work happening to better understand absenteeism from students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade
· Increased vocational and job preparation opportunities for those not attending colleges/universities to prepare them for jobs of the future
Needs To Be Addressed
· Lack of Communication – Information is funneled, and residents don’t receive it timely
· Lack of Information around resources available – many times by the time information is shared, deadlines are missed
· Local Community Associations need websites and printed newsletters (financial resources and support)
· There are no community resources for seniors wanting to age in place – no senior programs or adult playgrounds
· Local communities and community leaders need to do a better job of working together, as many of the efforts are done in silo and there is discord among community leadership
· The Mayor’s office list of community associations (with information about meetings and leadership contact information) needs to be updated and maintained
Associated Black Charities is calling to action all stakeholders with resources to shore up the things that are going well in the Broadway East community, and to take immediate action toward supporting the resolution of the community issues identified.
If you are an agency, a business, a community member, or other entity that can assist, please contact Associated Black Charities at email@example.com to be connected.
Together, we can change the future.
Chrissy M. Thornton
President & CEO
Associated Black Charities