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We’re all feeling the heartache this city is showing in one way or another. While Fusion’s grassroots agents of social change are no stranger to the suffering that many members of Baltimore’s disenfranchised communities have endured for generations, we’re still not immune to the consequences brought on through the history of systemic injustice here. As we stand firmly behind the constructive work our partners have been doing to address these issues long before the national media rolled in, we now stand firmly in support of the assessment and reaction of Fusion Partner Lara Law of Youth Empowered Society (YES) in the wake of damages suffered to the YES Drop-In center related to Monday night’s revolt. Please read the article for some important perspective on recent events in Baltimore and please consider making a donation to help YES re-open it’s doors ASAP.
If it was a similarly-frustrated city youth who torched the center amid the riots in Baltimore, Law said, “the anger is legitimate and understandable” — even if the actions were not.
“I don’t condone the violence and the destruction, the tearing down of what we need in our community, but the young people out on the streets are some of the same young people we’re serving – filled with trauma and violence and a lack of opportunity their whole lives,” Law said. “It’s understandable. We have to fix our way of doing things so they feel included and that there are opportunities for them.”
From the Baltimore Sun article: Director of youth homeless center burned in Baltimore riots: ‘Anger is legitimate’
Fusion partner The Baltimore Free School is excite to announce the new Strength To Love Project course running through March of 2015. The Strength To Love Project, consists of individuals (esp creatives) getting together to discuss social justice issues and engage in creative expression around the theme “Strength To Love”. The film Selma, Dr. King’s third book, “Strength to Love”, the #blacklivesmatter movement and other mediums will be used as material for these conversations. Participants are encouraged to create a piece(s) of art, poetry, music, film or civic engagement which they were inspired by, from those conversations. Its all capped off with a exhibition/performance of the pieces.
Classes will be offered Saturday evenings FREE OF CHARGE! Online video chat and phone-in options will be made available for individuals who are in other states or who can’t make it in person.
For more info on the Strength To Love Project, class content, and class scheduling visit the Free School’s website HERE
Don’t miss this Op-Ed article in the Baltimore Sun! In the article Tyler Mains of Medical Education Resources Initiative for Teens (MERIT) discusses the disconnect between the proliferation of world class medical institutions and STEM education opportunities within Baltimore City. Tyler then outlines how his program seeks to bridge that gap through mentorship and career development offered directly to Baltimores Teens. To read the article click the link below!
Passionate the revolutionary practice of Harm Reduction? Are you interested in leading an organization that advocates for a practical approach to reducing the impacts of Public Health threats by meeting those impacted with interventions that save lives? Then check out the recent job posting of Fusion Program, The Baltimore Student Harm Reduction Coalition for more info on how to apply:
As recently detailed by the Huffington Post, Maryland is one of the few states that has seen overdose mortality rates decrease since 1999 and the growing practice of Harm Reduction is a major factor. If you would like to join the fight to save the lives of our families, neighbors, children, and peers then please apply today!
Fusion Program Intercultural Counseling Connection is a referral network of mental health professionals committed to providing culturally responsive counseling and therapeutic services for refugees in the greater Baltimore area. Counseling services through the Connection network are provided for free (pro bono) or under reimbursement through Medical Assistance (Medicaid). This week The Connection launches a brand new website that will serve as a hub to connect service providers with refugees seeking mental health services. Click the Link below to explore the new site!
Fusion Partner Right To Housing Alliance (RTHA) works to build a movement supporting the human right to housing in Baltimore City through direct action, coalition building, education, and advocacy. As a grassroots initiative, the empowerment of community leaders is integral to the RTHA model and embodied through their Leadership Council. Recently the group raised the voice of Leadership Council member Debbie Jennings on their website. Click the image below to learn more about how you can support the work of RTHA and read Debbie’s story!
Fusion is incredibly proud to congratulate Fusion Partner Youth Resiliency Institute on being awarded a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Family Engagement Grant to support the development of their Journey Project! We can’t even find words to express how incredible it has been to support the essential work that BCYRI has been doing around community engagement in Baltimore. We can’t wait to see the innovative ways they will develop this program and enrich the lives of Baltimore City community members! To keep up to date on BCYRI’s work click the facebook badge below to follow them on social media!
The Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy Collective (BYKE) is a youth empowerment organization designed to develop personal and professional skills through learning bicycle mechanics, safe ridership, community values and respect. Thanks to the support from Fusion Partnerships and The Velocipede Bike Project we will be opening our doors for under 18 year olds this spring as Baltimore’s first youth bicycle program!
Fusion project Open Plough has just launched and online fundraising campaign over at Indiegogo!
Open Plough is a Baltimore-based coalition of farmers, entrepreneurs, educators, and chefs working on building a food hub for local residents by helping to facilitate micro-enterprises and grow a locally sourced grassroots market on North Avenue. Given the groups great location and the awesome people involved we at Fusion are really excited for the potential food access that this program with create in one of Baltimore’s many “food swamps” by returning a food market to the North Avenue Market Building for the first time in over 30 years!
Wow, we can’t believe the incredible wealth of community power and support for Fusion that radiated throughout the halls of the MICA graduate studio on October 19th as we came together for the Innovation For The Greater Good Conference. The workshops and dialogues throughout the entire day really proved that, although there are many battles yet to be won for social justice in Baltimore City, we have no shortage of great hearts and minds hard at work on sculpting solutions! Even in the half day conference it seems that everyone carried a ton of inspiration home with them. I know that we here at Fusion are just swimming with ideas on what our next steps are, as community organizers and as a movement for social justice, and we’re already hard at work on some of them!
If you couldn’t make the conference subscribe to our blog through the e-mail subscription (at the bottom of the page) or our RSS feed to keep up to date on our follow up discussions or other ways you can get involved with the Fusion Community! We’ll also be posting some media content from the conference in the coming weeks so be on the lookout for that. In the mean time you can view the super inspirational Photo Booth project that was lead by MICA Students Onaly Bright, Monique Johnson, Emma Chin, & Sarah Middleton who asked our conference presenters and attendees “What does the greater good mean to you?” The responses they got really speak to the inspirational spirit present throughout the entire conference. Click the image below to view the entire Gallery!
We also can’t go without mentioning the great music, dancing, and food that we had at 2640 that evening as we celebrated the 15th year of Fusion! We definitely were feelin’ the love as Jah Works grooved us into our 16th year and as we move forward we carry all of the love and support from our grassroots community. Our sweet sixteen is going to be a year to be remembered!