OSI announces 2020 Community Fellows

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Open Society Institute-Baltimore announced yesterday the 2020 OSI-Baltimore Community Fellows. Each fellow will receive $60,000 over 18 months to support local projects designed to address problems in Baltimore’s underserved communities.

OSI’s Community Fellowships Network, which launched in 1997, now includes 210 fellows including the founders of Wide Angle Youth Media, B-360, Community Law in Action, Thread, Gather, Bikemore, Youth Empowered Society (YES), and many others.

More than 150 people applied for the 14 fellowships. The selection process included project proposals and budgets, identification of collaborators, a site visit, and multiple interviews, including with the selection committee. The selection committee included OSI Advisory Board members Jamar Brown, Andre Davis, and Nupur Parekh Flynn, along with Carol Dunston Reckling, Margaret Footner, and Kevin Lindamood.

Read more, below, about the new fellows and the programs they will launch in the coming year.

Tehya Jenae Faulk* – Tehya is establishing Orphan We, which will use digital spaces to collect and archive stories of people on the edge of society — primarily those with intersectional identities.

Elizabeth Finne – Through the Parole Hearing Preparation Project, Elizabeth will work to systematize parole hearing preparation by developing appropriate and effective materials, by empowering inmates and their family members to make their best case for parole release, and by engaging and guiding volunteers to support people in parole hearing preparation.

Ateira Griffin – Through Building Our Nation’s Daughters (BOND), Ateira will encourage healthy two-generation relationships, economic mobility, and educational achievement by providing single mothers and their daughters in grades 5 to 12, with mentoring, counseling, education, and career support.

James Henderson Sr. – James will establish Pathways to College and Entrepreneurship as an innovative, multi-layered education program designed to expose underserved Baltimore youth to college readiness and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Isaiah Johnson – Isaiah will establish The Greenmount East Leadership Project to connect community youth to positive role models who will assist them with developing life skills, healthy coping skills and sound decision-making skills.

Bree Jones – Bree is working to establish Parity, an equitable housing development company that is building a collective of individuals to cooperatively revive West Baltimore neighborhoods through homeownership, civic engagement, and development without displacement.

Monica Lapenta – Monica will establish Be a Chef for a Day (BaCFaD) Mobile Teaching Kitchen and Training Kitchen to engage North Baltimore youth ages 14 to 21 in culinary education and job training by making fresh meals for people in need.

Wayne Paige* – Wayne will establish The Beautiful Baltimore Project to support the educational and social development needs of McElderry Park’s young people, incorporating the goals and passions of participants.

Troy Staton – In partnership with various healthcare providers and other partner organizations, Troy will establish More Than a Shop as a network of barbershops and beauty salons that will bring healthcare, job training, and mental health resources to communities throughout Baltimore City.

Atiya Wells – Atiya will establish Baltimore Living in Sustainable Simplicity (BLISS) Meadows, which will provide the Frankford community access to fresh food and a connection to nature.

Darius Wilmore – Darius will establish The Short Kuts Narrative Therapy Initiative as an innovative social impact project utilizing the creative process of therapeutic storytelling. The process is designed to aid in the healing of generational, personal, familial, professional, and environmental trauma.

E.V. Yost – E.V. will establish The Queer Crisis Response Unit (QCRU), an emergency services alternative designed to reduce the collateral consequences of criminalization experienced by the TLGBQIA+ survivors of interpersonal and systemic violence in Baltimore City.



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