Associated Black Charities will hold a listening session April 26 at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. Screenshot via Google Maps.

Associated Black Charities will hold a listening session event next week in Mondawmin as part of their monthly Community Convos series.

The event, held in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, will run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. April 26 at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church. It is free and open to the public.

In an effort to engage Baltimore communities and listen to residents’ needs, Associated Black Charities launched the Community Convos series earlier this year. Their first session was held in partnership with Youth Resiliency Institute on Feb. 15 in Cherry Hill, followed by a second session in partnership with Zion Hill Baptist Church on March 21 in Johnston Square and Oliver.

The Baltimore nonprofit said the sessions so far have included discussions about schools, jobs, physical and mental health, housing, redevelopment, community investment, food access, youth recreation, social justice, and other issues. Community members also highlighted solutions that have already been implemented successfully and would benefit from additional resources.

“Understanding the real needs of our communities is the first step in developing impactful solutions to improve opportunity for African Americans”, said Associated Black Charities President and CEO Chrissy M. Thornton. “To that end, Associated Black Charities is committed to conducting listening sessions throughout Black communities, at which community members can share issues and concerns affecting their families and their ability to achieve success. 

Associated Black Charities will take the issues that community members raise during these listening sessions and use them to shape their work.

“The insights gained at these sessions are brought back to use in identifying opportunities for outreach, programming, ongoing communication, and legislative advocacy,” Thornton. “We share a post-session open letter, utilizing our ability to broker and convene, to call upon community partners, agencies, and businesses who have the capacity to help and offer support, to do so meaningfully.”

Already, the nonprofit said, the community engagement sessions have resulted in Associated Black Charities partnering with Youth Resiliency Institute and The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore to work to increase book resources at the Historic Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School library.

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