CONTACT US   |   Print Page   |   Sign In   |   join.
"Adventures in Philanthropy" Blog
Blog Home All Blogs
Our "Adventures in Philanthropy" blog posts are written by our staff and diverse membership and offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media, and those interested in current issues and giving trends.


Search all posts for:   


Top tags: Adventures in Philanthropy  philanthropy  ABAG By the Numbers  Recent Reports from the Field  Workforce  public policy  BIP  ABAG members  Baltimore  Baltimore Integration Partnership  nonprofits  Affinity Groups  July/August 2014 Members' Memo  Diversity  giving  March 2015 Members' Memo  Maryland Nonprofits  Equity  Inclusion  MdeHN  Education Funders  July/August 2015 Members' Memo  March 2014 Members' Memo  Maryland Environmental Health Network  November 2013 Members' Memo  October 2013 Members' Memo  the giving life  ABAG  april 2014 Members' memo  Baltimore Workforce Funders Collaborative 

Baltimore's Economic Future Must Include Us All

Posted By Diane Bell-McKoy, Monday, June 8, 2015
June 8, 2015
By Diane Bell-McKoy, ABAG Board Member and President & CEO of Associated Black Charities

In these difficult weeks, Baltimore's communities - resident, business, nonprofit, and government - have been rising up to make a difference in the repair and "healing" of the city.

Most of these efforts have been focused on clean-up and ways to ensure that needed and immediate resources are available to those communities that sustained visible and physical damage. Our focus has now shifted to ensure that our young people have real opportunity this summer and many of our investments have deepen in an effort to pay attention to economic access - employment.

We also anxiously await the full roll out of #OneBaltimore.

Associated Black Charities understands that we must focus on the immediate. We are adding our energies to these immediate activities including helping community based and faith based groups prepare to fully participate in the provision of services to "their" communities especially those related to increasing citizens' economic outcomes.

In Baltimore, ABC will continue our research based transactional work to increase the economic outcomes for low wage earners by giving them the tools to change their future; we will continue to work with employers in STEM to change the on ramp and retention for middle skilled workers; we will continue to support professionals of color so they have voice in making a difference in Baltimore; we will help workforce providers understand the nuances of behavioral competencies as a disconnection for workers of color and we will partner to change the retention and graduation rate for students of color as they enter higher education.

However, no matter who does what in the provision of services for youth, their parents and their neighbors, especially those services focused on changing their economic outcomes, there will still be a need to address the systemic issues that are at the core of the pain in our community.
We must speak about racialized disparities and their impact on our collective economic futures.
Maryland is swiftly becoming a majority-minority" state - and, in fact, is for Marylanders 40 and under. We cannot be afraid to have these conversations. And we must be better skilled at having them.

Associated Black Charities is committed to working to provide the tools needed for these critical conversations and the work needed to realize our collective futures, in the following ways:

Expansion of facilitations around our document "A Policy Application of a Racial Equity Lens." This document was introduced during the 2015 Legislative session and to some civic leaders. It educates on creating and supporting preventive policies -- those policies that incorporate the impact of race-based systemic barriers rather than playing catch-up to remediate policies that do not incorporate the impact of these basic realities;

Convening conversations with civic and policy leaders to move the effort forward in expanding investments in marginalized communities through a new distribution and/or redistribution of resources. In the past, policy and other efforts have resulted in a gentrification that has not taken advantage of the assets of individuals or communities. We must work to change that;

Increasing our "Community Conversations" to provide a bridge of common understanding and common action. Baltimore is not unique in the systemic issues we face; not unique in the groups that are most detrimentally impacted by them, nor unique in too often turning a blind eye toward them. Many of us believe that systemic challenges are too large to impact; that the journey is too long; that surfacing the unfair racializations inherent in "doing business as usual" is "too divisive." And quite frankly, many of us are intimidated because we don't want to be called racists and/or we just don't know where to start or how to start the conversation. For the last three years, ABC has, with its partners Aspen Institute and Baltimore Community Foundation, involved more than 100 leaders in continuing conversations about racializations and their detrimental impact on our economy. With our partner Baltimore Racial Justice Action, we are active in monthly meetings that have a multi-racial audience and that begin conversations and understandings about institutional and structural racism; and

Continuing to work at a policy level and to support grassroots actions that squarely address racialized impacts.

Associated Black Charities has long been in these efforts; we have given voice to the words "institutional and structural racism"; we have urged others not to be afraid to have these honest conversations about systemic challenges so the core issues can be addressed and we have all intention of meeting this moment by moving forward and expanding our efforts.
We invite you to join us, our collective economic future depends upon us doing this hard work together.

Tags:  #OneBaltimore  ABC  June 2015 Members' Memo 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)

An Inclusiveness Vision for Maryland

Posted By Adar Ayira, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April 15, 2015

By Adar Ayira, Project Manager, More in the Middle Initiative, Associated Black Charities

In March I had the pleasure of representing Associated Black Charities (ABC) as a keynote speaker at Maryland Nonprofit’s Quality of Life Summit. One of the first discussions focused on participants’ vision for Maryland, and inclusiveness was a part of that vision for some participants.

ABC certainly champions an inclusiveness vision and an equity frame.

In our vision, Maryland has strong businesses and communities with growing industries within our city, suburbs, and rural areas. Our inclusiveness vision is one where access and opportunity are not for a demographic few but for everyone.

At the Quality of Life Summit, I had the pleasure of explaining how this vision and understanding forms the foundation of Associated Black Charities’ "More in the Middle” Initiative.

ABC’s More in the Middle Initiative is a roadmap for creating an economically stronger Maryland in which businesses and families can prosper through:

· educating on and advocating for policies that resolve systemic and structural barriers and open doors of opportunity and access;

· testing new service intervention models that strongly address "personal responsibility” while acknowledging the devastating impacts of structural and institutional racism;

· bridge-building for increased traction and impact;

· actively partnering with organizations and businesses to leverage relationships, partnerships, and strategies; and

· building alliances with national organizations who also support strategies that promote similar policy and program strategies.

Central to our inclusiveness vision is an equity frame.

We understand that – like other areas of the country – Maryland residents are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. In fact, our age 40-and-under populations (overall) are either 50% or just-under 50% people of color; our adopting an equity frame/lens is good business.

An equity frame encourages development of a common worldview, one that acknowledges where we are historically "situationally placed” in society.

Because ABC believes in a vision of Maryland that supports businesses and families, we believe in nonprofits developing policies that incorporate a racial equity lens.

At Maryland Nonprofit’s Quality of Life Summit, we shared information about our document – "Policy Applications of a Racial Equity Lens” – that shared 10 essential questions for policy development, review, and evaluation. That report can be found at

Events like the Quality of Life Summit offer opportunity to share not only the work of our colleagues but to recommit to an inclusiveness vision and offer concrete roadmaps to make the journey.

Tags:  ABC  April 2015 Members' Memo  Diversity  Equity  Inclusiveness 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal