Laura Stewart


Abell Foundation report examines digital disparities among Marylanders


At a time when virtual work and school are part of everyday life for many Marylanders, internet access is a basic necessity. But roughly 520,000 Maryland households lack high-speed internet at home, according to a new report by the Abell Foundation. 

Three Black leaders seek to break fundraising barriers for Black-led organizations with Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective

Participants in B360, a program founded by Brittany Young, one of the founders of The Collective. Photo by Javon Roye.

Three Black-led Baltimore nonprofit organizations — B360, I am MENtality and The — launched last week the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective to fundraise and share a joint development team to increase organizational capacity, sustainability, and better serve the Baltimore community.

Eight high school student projects receive more than $90K from Philanthropy Tank


Philanthropy Tank awarded $90,000 to eight Baltimore students at its inaugural finals event last Thursday. The new initiative aims to empower students in the Baltimore area to develop social impact programs to address community issues. Along with the funding, student finalists receive one year of mentorship from local business and nonprofit leaders. 

Newly launched Philanthropy Tank invites Baltimore students to become social entrepreneurs

Students competing in Philanthropy Tank with their mentors. From left to right: Emily Mayock, Dayvon Cummings, Esaiah Watson, Devin Mintz, and Jonathan Moore. Emily Mayock, program and development associate at St. Francis Neighborhood Center and Jonathan Moore, founder and CEO of Rowdy Orbit, are supporting the students in the implementation of their idea. The students will present Reducing Waste Entrepreneurship on Nov. 19.

When she was in seventh grade, Ania McNair saw a presentation by an FBI Victims Specialist that stuck with her. The Victims Specialist relayed stories of human trafficking — many involving girls Ania’s age — and Ania immediately knew she wanted to do something about it.

Ania, now in twelfth grade at Reginald Lewis High School, has been involved with initiatives to combat human trafficking in Baltimore. According to the Victims Services Committee of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, major interstates through the state and its position between several East Coast cities make it a hot spot for human trafficking. The task force’s latest data found 396 survivors of human trafficking — 124 of whom were trafficked as children — in Maryland in 2014.

Recently, while working with Baltimore nonprofit HeartSmiles, Ania gave a presentation on human trafficking entitled “Not for Sale.” When she saw an opportunity to apply for a grant to put her solutions to action from the newly launched Philanthropy Tank Baltimore, Ania applied.

Comcast to create more than 1,000 Wi-Fi connected zones across the country, including in Baltimore

Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr

Comcast will provide free Wi-Fi connection to more than 1,000 community centers nationwide, including locations in Baltimore City, as part of a multi-year effort to close the digital divide for low-income families, the company announced on Thursday.

BMA to live stream jazz with Akua Allrich, Monday, Sept. 21

Akua Allrich

The Baltimore Museum of Art will host on Monday, September 21 at 6 p.m., a live-streamed concert, Jazz: The Living Room Session. The concert will feature acclaimed jazz vocalist Akua Allrich, who will perform from the museum’s East Lobby installation Mickalene Thomas: A Moment’s Pleasure.

United Way donates laptops, sets up fund to provide computers to Baltimore City Public School students


With the start of a remote school year rapidly approaching, Baltimore families and educators scramble to prepare.

In Baltimore City, roughly 75,000 households, or one in three, do not have either a desktop or laptop computer, according to a recent study by the Abell Foundation. Around 15,000 households with children do not have either a desktop or laptop computer. These disparities are particularly pronounced for low-income houses with children – 80 percent of homes lacking computers are in the bottom half of the city’s income distribution. 

WYPR announces new board chair, four new trustees

88.1 WYPR’s logo

Today, WYPR announced a new chairman of the station’s board of directors and four new members. Matthew Martin, executive vice president and retail market manager for PNC Financial Services Group, will succeed Darcy C. Carroll as Chairman.

Baltimore City College student activists work to close the digital divide

Members of Students Organizing a Multicultural and Open Society.

As a member of Students Organizing a Multicultural and Open Society (SOMOS) at Baltimore City College, Yashira Valenzuela spends most of her time outside of school tackling systemic injustices in the Baltimore city school system. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shift to remote learning, Yashira and her fellow SOMOS members began to realize how many Baltimore students lack access to affordable high-speed internet.

Maryland casinos report nearly $140M in revenue in first month after reopening


Horseshoe CasinoMaryland’s six casinos have completed their first full month of operation since their closure on March 16, generating $139,920,018 in gaming revenue. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the casinos reopened at 50 percent capacity, implemented temperature screenings, and required facemasks for both employees and patrons.