Global investment management firm T. Rowe Price and Business Volunteers Maryland (BVM) came together last week to host skillCONNECT, a scope-a-thon supporting four Baltimore-area grassroots orgs focused on racial equity.
At the June 23 event, the four nonprofits received the institutional knowledge from members of T. Rowe Price’s workforce to help navigate business challenges related to strategic planning, finance, fundraising, human resources and marketing.
“It gives me the opportunity to leverage my legal expertise to assist a nonprofit working for racial equity,” Terence Baptiste, senior legal counsel at T. Rowe Price, said about the skillCONNECT event in a statement. “I have been looking for opportunities the past few years to get more involved in my community to advance racial equity, but I have struggled to find my place since I don’t have experience in this area. Being able to assist an organization in this space using the skills that I have learned at T. Rowe Price is the opportunity that I have been looking for.”
The four orgs were:
- Community Law in Action, an organization that develops young people to be leaders by connecting them to opportunities to amplify their voices, cultivate their skills, and actively participate in the process of positive community change. The org recently merged with fellow Baltimore nonprofit The Intersection in an effort to broaden its impact on youth leadership.
- The Food Project, an initiative of UEmpower of Maryland that brings cooking, farming and restaurant skills to youth in Southwest Baltimore, as well as mentorship and job opportunities. As part of COVID relief, the organization distributed meals and stood up pop-up markets that employed youth, according to its website.
- Infinite Focus Schools, a nonprofit using tech tools to reduce the impact of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders for youth. Technical.ly talked to founder Ashley Williams last year about how she quit her job when she discovered the importance of bringing mindfulness to Baltimore schools. Over the last year, the company also received investment from Baltimore’s Ignite Capital, took part in Loyola University Maryland’s Baltipreneurs accelerator, and was chosen as one of Technical.ly’s RealLIST Startups 2021.
- Parity Baltimore Inc., an equitable development firm based in West Baltimore that acquires and rehabilitates abandoned properties by the block to create affordable homeownership opportunities as a means of social justice and wealth building. The company was also a winner of funding after taking part in Johns Hopkins’ Social Innovation Lab in 2020, and a RealLIST Startups 2021 honoree.
T. Rowe Price has also committed funds to Black-led organizations in Baltimore as part of a wider, $5.5 million effort that begain in 2015. Most recently, intiatives working in Baltimore received $1.5 million from the T. Rowe Price Foundation. The firm also extends its talent to local nonprofits through events like DesignFest, an annual event at MICA which connects design and marketing pros with nonprofits.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.-30-