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!
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!
The Celebration will include:
- Live Reggae music by Baltimore’s own Jah Works
- Info tables
- 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!
One of our favorite newcomers to the Fusion Community of Social Change is ready to hit the ground running! The much awaited Station North Tool Library is opening its doors and it’s time to THROW DOWN AND PARTY with the rowdiest bunch of “Librarians” that you’ll ever meet!
Friday April 26th at 8PM make your way to 417 E Oliver St. (next to Area 405) for:
### POWER TOOL RACES ###
Sponsored by our neighbors – The Baltimore Node
~~~ PRIZES ~~~
*Tool Library Memberships*
COSTUMES! BEER! FUN! and did we mention tools?!?
DANCE PARTY TO FOLLOW!!!!!
You don’t want to miss this – it’ll be that one thing you kick yourself most for missing this year……
Abc2News recently did this story on Fusion program Youth Empowered Society (YES) and their newly opened Youth Drop-In Center. Check it out to see some of the great work they’ve been doing. Also, please consider donating one of the following urgently needed supplies when you’re in the neighborhood!
Snack and Meal Needs:
Hot chocolate, tea, and other drink mixes
Granola bars, crackers, fruit snacks, etc.
Pop-top canned soup/chili
Plastic forks and spoons
Small paper plates
Paper Shredder; Paper Cutter; Space Heaters; Medical Gloves; Flash Drives
For a complete list of material needs, please e-mail Harriet at Harriet@yesdropincenter.org.