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The Power Of Listening: A Poppleton Community Convo


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 instit


utions 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 Wednesday July 26, 2023, ABC joined the Poppleton 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. The community is comprehensive of all stakeholders concerned about happenings in Poppleton.


In our goal to help create and foster greater collaboration, cooperation, and effective solutions; we partnered with the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s PATIENTS Program.

We convened residents, community organizations, faith leaders, government representatives, and other stakeholders at UMB. 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 UMB PATIENTS Program leadership, notable attendees included representatives from The Harbor Bank of Maryland, AFRO-American Newspapers, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, Allen AME Temple, AARP, FOCUS (Focus On Communities United For Success), Turn Them Loose, and Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby.


What ABC Heard:

Going Well:

· Focus on Communities, United For Success (FOCUS): FREE IT training, helping young people get into Information Technology.


· The Harbor Bank has the CDC Haskins Center for small businesses and financial literacy classes.

· Poppleton Now celebrated the groundbreaking of greater model recreation center. Was closed for over 20 years and the community worked diligently to find funding to reopen the doors.

· Legacy residents are building bridges with new populations coming into the community.

· Homeowners and renters can sometimes have a chasm and Poppleton Now is helping to resolve..

· Brenda White (Allen AME Church) is grateful to serve as Poppleton Now board member. Ministry has been received well. They have been working on an elevated raised bed and organic garden. Each year they plant, and the community can come and get what they need during harvest season. Garden is located near 1130 W. Lexington St.

· Partners like West Baltimore Renaissance, Baltimore Ravens, Lowe’s, United Way.

· The Dept of Public Works has adopted 25 lots to make sure they are clean. Now in 2nd month with Dept of Planning with being a Resiliency Hub (Code Red is where people can come and get water and be cool).

· There are a growing number of assets to build on in Poppleton:

o Family Center (Excel High School).

o United Way will pick up children from home. Babies 6 weeks to 3yo can go to Family Center.

o James McHenry EMS (excelling in math and science. INGENUITY Program).

o Vivian T Thomas (has a case manager to help with housing and rental center).

o Has 211 unique to Poppleton. Housed out of community engagement center.


Needs To Be Addressed:

· Food Desert (community grocery stores are closed, no healthy food options within walking distance, and unhealthy food options lead to increased health problems within the community). Closing of grocery stores (only thing is Food Depot).

· Decreased quality of life (no healthy food options, lack of sleep due to motorcycles being in the community)

· Traffic Control (reckless driving, speeding, multiple accidents) – community would like increased speed bumps and stop signs

· Increased connectivity between neighbors needed (better methods of communication and need ways to bring the community together)

· Addiction issues/increased overdose rates (toxic drugs are in the community)

· Young people/young adults can’t access services

· How to become a homeowner in this market that is attracting a different type of resident (priced out?)



Associated Black Charities is calling to action all stakeholders with resources to shore up the things that are going well in the Poppleton 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 info@abc-md.org to be connected.


Together, we can change the future.


Sincerely,


Chrissy M. Thornton

President & CEO

Associated Black Charities








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