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Mark your calendar!   Here at Fusion we’ve been hard at work over the past couple of months putting together a day of  networking and celebration honoring 15 years of community organizing and collaborative action in Baltimore!  On OCTOBER 19th from 11:00am to 5:00pm Fusion will offer the Innovation For The Greater Good Conference, held at the Maryland Institute College of Arts’ Graduate Studio Center (131 W. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD).   Our aim for this conference is to create a collaborative atmosphere and platform through which interested parties can share knowledge and experience innovative approaches to community organizing.

The Innovation For The Greater Good Conference will feature:

  • Who’s Gonna Pay for All This?
  • Presenter: Jim Kucher, Fusion Board Member, Income for Outcomes,Grants, Donations, Fees for Services, Impact Investing, Social Venture Capital, Corporate Partnerships, Social Impact Bonds – today’s world of funding for a social justice mission is very complicated and full of options. Each choice has pros and cons, and each one requires a different approach. This workshop will help you sort out the various combinations and determine which one is right for you. It will also provide practical exercises that will equip you to talk about your work in language that will appeal to the type of funding you seek.
  • Institutional Accountability
  • Panel: Betty Robinson, Fusion Board Member, Co-editor, Hands on the Freedom Plow,Rodney Foxworth, Fusion Board Member , Co-founder and Managing Principal of Harbor City Partners, Jacqueline Robarge, Power Inside, Todd Vanidestine, University of Maryland, School of Social Work , Fanon Hill, Youth Resiliency Institute

    A panel discussion to examine the interactions between large institutions and grassroots community groups and to develop possible solutions to address and undo the structural racism and power dynamics that are inherent within those relationships.

  • Alignment Circles
  • Presenters: Members of ACTS – Alliance for Community Teachers and SchoolsThe Alignment Circles will serve leaders, facilitators, community organizers and those interested in creating dialogue to design a shared vision collaboratively. The process starts with identifying an issue and ending with an aligned action plan.
  • Dynamic Life and Jobs Skills Program: Youth Want It, How to Deliver It
  • Presenters: Stacey Gurian Sherman, Youth Know How, Harold Bailey , Reentry Employment and Economic Empowerment Program, Sheila Gaskins, Know Yourself, Market YourselfThis session will explore innovative job and life skills programming that help youth meet their potential with opportunities to grow, make contributions and have gainful employment. Discussion will follow of how life and jobs skills programming engages youth and adds an essential component to arts, education and wellness programming.
  • Harm Reduction: A Practical Approach to Health Behavior Change
  • Presenters: Members of BSHRC – Baltimore Student Harm Reduction CoalitionHarm Reduction is both a radical philosophy and a set of practical strategies to reduce harms that stem from violence, drug use, and more, that meets individuals “where they are at”. This session will begin with an overview of harm reduction and discuss how it is an innovative component for a social justice agenda and the practical ways for programs to implement.
  • Community Based Participatory Research Works to Lower Smoking Rates In South West Baltimore: Successes and Lessons Learned
  • Presenters: Dr. Payam Sheikhattari, CEASE, Principal Investigator, Morgan State UniversityLisa Bleich, CEASE, Program Coordinator, Kaye Love, CEASE, Peer Motivator, Timeeka Wilkes-Addison , CEASE, Peer Motivator

    A brief overview of CBPR and the CEASE Program from the Academic leader, and Program Coordinator, Peer Motivators, and smoking cessation participants about the strategies of engagement and the social justice implications of the project.

  • Conversation Based Meeting Models that promote Knowledge-Sharing and Discovery of Common Ground ideas as Tools for Reducing Inequities and Marginalization within Communities.
  • Presenter: Jennifer Hicks, Sustainable DelmarvaThe workshop will discuss the Sustainable Delmarva project and its use of conversation-based meeting models. In addition, participants will be able to experience various conversation-based meeting models including Future Search, Open Space, and World Café as a way to understand how these methods provide opportunities for communities of all types to develop the capacity to systemically address deeply rooted inequities and effectively work to achieve social justice. After participants have a chance to experience each model they will have time to discuss the benefits and challenges of using these methods as alternatives to conventional meeting models and how they could be used in their own work.
  • How Environment Influences Artwork Produced In A Community: An Interactive Workshop & Display Utilizing Driftwood and the Creative Process
  • Presenters: Nancy Jagelka, Anthony’s Park, Amanda Almarshoud, Anthony’s Park, MICA internBy analyzing works produced within an environment and incorporating the social baseline, individuals would become familiar with the unfamiliar enough to realize other opportunities for individual and social growth. By addressing the impact of social and natural environments on individuals, and the creative works they produce, we can develop a new model for learning that incorporates the sensory and social needs of that population.
  • Stories to Power
  • Presenters: Paulo Gregory Harris, Ingoma Foundation, Alvin Toussaint Herring, PICO NetworkThe stories we tell have always been amongst the critical elements to initiating powerful changes, both in our lives and in our cultures and society. In this day of instant global media, we have arrived at an unprecedented time in history in which the power of story is virtually unlimited. Through this session, we will interactively explore the use of storytelling as a tool for healing, and a vehicle for change.
  • The Intersection of Art and Community Organizing:
  • Right to Housing Alliance and WallhuntersPresenters: Jessica Lewis, Right to Housing Alliance, Pablo and Nether, Wall Hunters

    This facilitated discussion will look at the intersection of art and community organizing and the best practices to engage community in organizing around equal and fair housing for all.

After the conference join us at 2640 Space (2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Md) as we celebrate 15 years of Fusion!

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The Celebration will include:

  • Live Reggae music by Baltimore’s own Jah Works
  • Info tables
  • Performances
  • Multimedia Presentations
  • Reflections on 15 Years of Collaborative Action
  • Cash bar and light fare

All event proceeds will support the work Fusion Partnerships, Inc.

Register now at the link below and get our Early Registration Discount!

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Thursday, September 27th, at The Charles Theater please join Fusion program New Lens as they host “New Generation Jobs,” a FREE event focusing on youth employment strategies. Watch youth-produced video of young entrepreneurs and other stories of employed youth, learn the stats on youth employment, listen to a panel of people involved in innovative youth job strategies and join in on the conversation.

The dynamic panel includes the Office of Learning To Work Career and Technology Education at Baltimore City Public Schools, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and young people from youth-led organizations in Baltimore. The panel will be moderated by Baltimore’s long-time radio host Marc Steiner and the Q&A moderated by youth leaders from Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle. The featured videos were created by New Lens young people and offer a unique youth perspective on this pressing social issue.

Join the youth leaders of New Lens in exploring ideas and most importantly, join in investing in the new generation!

Click here to view the event on facebook!

Please join the Baltimore Student Harm Reduction Coalition (BSHRC) in honoring International Overdose Awareness Day – this Friday, August 31, 2012.

Did you know that drug overdose (OD) is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, causing more deaths than motor vehicle crashes and shootings? This epidemic is particularly troubling in Baltimore City, where the death rate from drug OD is more than three times higher than the national average! In 2007 alone, 213 city residents died from opioid overdose (DHMH, 2011).

Yet with proper policies, funding, and support, we CAN end this senseless epidemic! Overdose Awareness Day is one opportunity to remember the people who have experienced or have been lost due to drug overdose. It is also a call to action, to increase visibility about overdose, reduce relevant stigma, and instigate policy and personal change.

Here are some easy steps you can take to increase awareness about this crisis:

  • Comment on BSHRC’s facebook page with anecdotes, stories, or memorials relating to OD. Share your experiences with or feelings about overdose, or simply list a name in memoriam or celebration. (To remain anonymous, message or email us, and we will post on your behalf.)
  • Wear silver [gray is okay] on Friday to show solidarity. Gather your friends and colleagues, make signs showing your support for OD awareness, and take photos. Post the photos to Facebook and tag BSHRC (or email them to us and we will post them for you).
  • Spread the Word: Join our Facebook event page – and then share our posts; Use hashtag #OD12 on Twitter to join the international conversation.
  • Donate to the Naloxone Fund, benefiting the Chicago Recovery Alliance. Your tax-deductible gift will go directly to saving a life!

For more information or to become involved with BSHRC, email Jen at BaltimoreStudentHRC@gmail.com.

(Source: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). State of Maryland. (2011). Data update: Rising prescription drug abuse in Maryland.)

Two+ years ago the Baltimore Homeless Youth Initiative Youth Leaders held an Art Slam on a cold February night. Now, as the Youth Empowered Society (YES), the youth leaders are at it again, this time in the heat of the summer!

Join YES as they showcase the art, poetry, song, and dance of Baltimore’s youth. If you’re a young person with a talent or if you would like to help, please contact YES.

Suggested donation of $10 (no one will be turned away for a lack of funds)

There will be artwork to purchase at a silent auction, a bake sale, and of course great performances. Bring yourself and your friends!

If you would like to be a part of the YES Art Slam contact Shawn Toyer, @ 443.879.9183 or click the link below to check out the facebook event page!

Click here to add the event on facebook!

Fusion program Word on the Street will be holding a BBQ open to those homeless individuals in Baltimore and their allies at St. Vincent de Paul Park (a few blocks from Healthcare for the Homeless) in order to celebrate the success of Word on the Street and raise awareness of homelessness in Baltimore! Check it out!
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Fusion Program Youth Empowered Society (YES) is coming very close to opening the doors of a drop-in center for homeless youth! Founded and run by formerly homeless youth and their allies, the YES Drop-In Center will be a safe space to meet the immediate needs (e.g. hot meals, clothing, supplies, showers, laundry, storage, etc.) of Baltimore’s homeless youth between the ages of 14-25 and establish supportive relationships that help youth connect – and stay connected – to long-term resources. Legal, health, and mental health service providers will visit YES weekly. Additionally, youth will learn independent living skills, their legal rights, and have the opportunity to organize with their peers and advocate for policies that are responsive to their needs.

YES is currently working very hard to iron out the final details to secure space to soon offer services from 3-8pm each weekday evening. Until then, they could really use your help, and the help of your networks, to begin collecting supplies and donations.  YES is now running two simultaneous online fundraising campaigns because we want you to be able to choose the campaign that best fits you: GiveCorps (https://givecorps.com/projects/195-youth-empowered-society-help-yes-drop-in-center-open-its-doors) offers great local incentives, but We Pay (https://www.wepay.com/donations/youth-empowered-society-yes) takes a smaller percentage of what we raise. Thank you in advance for whatever you can give to support opportunity for Baltimore youth!

YES needs:

· Office furniture
· Office supplies
· Office phones
· Cleaning supplies and a vacuum cleaner
· Kitchenware (plates, bowls, cups, glasses, and silverware)
· Colorful paint (for our walls) and painting supplies
· Curtains and/or blinds
· Non-fabric couches and chairs
· Tables
· A washer and dryer (preferably as one unit)
· Well-functioning computers & printers
· Cork boards and white boards
· Lamps and light bulbs
· Hygiene products (such as shampoo, face wash, lotion, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc., in both travel and full-sizes)
· Non-perishable food
· Towels and flip-flops for showering
· New or lightly used youth-friendly clothing
· Gift cards to Target, Walmart, and other stores so that we can purchase supplies that we’re not able to collect, and gift cards to Home Depot and Lowes so that we can purchase supplies for our shower renovation

Please contact Lara Law, at lara@yesdropincenter.org or 443-631-3017 if you have anything to donate. Also, please contact the group if you would like to volunteer with YES (specifically need skilled labor volunteers to help us with the shower renovation). Thanks so much!

Fusion Program NEW LENS invites you to an event to celebrate our work with youth in the foster care system.

Join us for a screening of a video created by youth in the system followed by an interactive discussion.

MONDAY MAY 23
5-7:00pm

Baltimore City Hall
100 Holliday St.
Baltimore, MD 21202

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=100+Holliday+St.%C2%A0+Baltimore,+MD+21202&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=100+Holliday+St,+Baltimore,+Maryland+21202&gl=us&t=h&z=14&ll=39.290802,-76.610911&output=embed
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CONTACT INFORMATION

Location
1601 Guilford Ave, 2 South
Baltimore, MD 21202

Phone
410.889.4700

Fax
410.889.4701

E-mail
- Laurie Bezold
(aka) Polly Riddims:
lbezold@fusiongroup.org
- StrongHeart
sstone@fusiongroup.org
- Keith Gavazzi
keith.gavazzi@fusiongroup.org


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