Diversity & Inclusion
Funding / Nonprofits

B’more Invested is providing grants to 10 orgs led by people of color

An initiative from Open Society Institute-Baltimore and Baltimore’s Promise is investing $1.5 million into its first group of Baltimore organizations. It's a new approach to grantmaking.

Inside a Black Male Yoga Initative class. (Courtesy photo)

The B’more Invested initiative is providing $1.5 million in grants to 10 nonprofit organizations in an effort to balance the scales of investment to organizations led by people of color.

Open Society Institute-Baltimore and Baltimore’s Promise joined together to lead this new initiative. The goal is to provide flexible funding to promising organizations that have lacked adequate resources to expand their programming and reach more people.

“For too long, Black- and brown-led organizations have been overlooked or grossly underinvested in by philanthropic institutions,” Danielle Torain, director of Open Society Institute-Baltimore, said in a statement. ” B’more Invested is working to change that by intentionally supporting organizations led by talented people of color.”

The organizations were chosen through a grant advisory team made up of 23 members of the  Baltimore community and 11 representatives of the institutions that have invested in the initiative, like the T. Rowe Price Foundation and Johns Hopkins University.

These are the ten organizations that will be receiving an average of $150,000 over the course of the next 18 months, with descriptions via B’More Invested:

  • A Revolutionary Summer, founded by Andria Nacina Cole, a critical reading and writing program dedicated to shifting harmful and traumatic narratives about Black women and girls through literature, art, self-inquiry and self-empowerment.
  • Black Male Yoga Initiative, founded by Changa Bell, supports healthy self-development through the LifeForce Development Process, which integrates skills, principles and practices of yoga, mindfulness, meditation and life coaching as means of personal improvement.
  • The Black Yield Institute, led by Eric Jackson, is a think tank and collective action network working to expand and develop enterprises that build power, provide food and ownership opportunities, and create a model of Black land and food sovereignty at the hyper-local, community level.
  • Bloom Collective is a liberation-focused network of health and wellness practitioners grounded in birth and reproductive justice, womanism, human rights, holistic care and healing justice. It provides preconception counseling, fertility care, breastfeeding/chest feeding/body feeding support, childbirth education, herbalism, psychotherapy, parenting support, postpartum care, coaching, consultations and trainings.
  • Bmore Empowered, led by Kieta Iriarte-Amin and Nazaahah Amin, is dedicated to empowering women and girls of color through mindfulness and entrepreneurship.
  • BYKE, led by Jasper Barnes, serves a population that is 98% Black/African American, celebrates youth being active, learning skills, and building social and emotional intelligence through a passion for bike riding. The organization runs a youth-centered drop-in bicycle workshop in Greenmount West, with a focus on providing mentorship, restorative practices, and workforce development along with other youth programs.
  • Fight Blight Bmore, founded by Nneka N’namdi, remediates blight through community projects and programs that are envisioned, directed and owned by the community.
  • MOMCares, founded by Ana Temple Rodney, provides birth and postpartum doula care to Black women who are characterized as high risk or have had a birth resulting in Neonatal Intensive Care involvement. This care includes one-to-one care, birth planning, baby care essentials, delivery, advocacy and mindfulness and wellness support to healing mothers.
  • Organizing Black, founded by Michaela Brown, Ralikh Hayes and Tré Murphy builds local power through transformational Black direct action organizing, political education, and participatory governance practices.
  • Out for Justice, founded by Nicole Hanson, places individuals affected by the criminal justice system at the forefront of policy-reform efforts that directly impact them, their families and their communities. The org identifies the needs of incarcerated or formerly incarcerated individuals, then provides educational workshops tailored to their needs, training on the legislative process to understand the root causes of barriers and what can be done to address them, and a trusted community network.
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.

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