Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Making the Most of Your Higher Eds” – A Panel Discussion

If your community is looking to ensure successful partnerships with local higher education anchor institutions, “Making the Most of Your Higher Eds”, a panel discussion led by representatives from Loyola University; Goucher College; and University of Maryland, Baltimore is for you. To participate in this workshop, and many others, register here.

A thank-you card from Margaret Brent students, sent to GHCC for our role in leveraging funding from anchor institution, Johns Hopkins University, for renovations to the school.

On the right, a card from Barclay School students, thanking GHCC for our role in securing funding from local Higher Ed, Johns Hopkins University, for renovations made to Barclay and Margaret Brent. On the left, the Margaret Brent’s renovated facade.

Universities can be a tremendous asset for surrounding neighborhoods. Their resources and economic leverage can support a diverse range of improvements, including after-school programming, workforce development, neighborhood planning, physical development, and more. Local communities can benefit from partnering with colleges for student interns, class field placements, and capital investments. However, university bureaucracies can also be notoriously difficult to navigate; it can be unclear who to contact for which resource and how to promote active collaboration.

In Baltimore, we are lucky to have several world-class colleges and universities within the City limits. In this workshop, panelists from Loyola University, Goucher College, and University of Maryland, Baltimore will share the innovative ways their universities are supporting surrounding neighborhoods. Come to this presentation to learn how you can connect with ongoing programming and navigate the university bureaucracy.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Community Development, Events, Neighborhood Institute, Neighborhoods | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hands-On STEM Education at the 29th Street Community Center

MSO 1

Over the past several months, a group of dedicated students at the 29th Street Community Center have been participating in Maryland Science Olympiad (MSO). MSO is an after-school STEM enrichment program which encourages students to tackle a variety of STEM-focused challenges in a fun, but competitive, environment.

mso 4

In the fall, students selected MSO competition events they found interesting. They met twice a week after-school to practice these events and prepare for the Baltimore City tournament. These hands-on activities range from tests, for which students have to study specific STEM subjects, to construction challenges that require students to design and build structures, vehicles, or rockets. With help from a Johns Hopkins University student mentor group, the Charm City Science League, our students excelled in their chosen activities.

This past month, our students’ and their mentors’ hard work paid off at the city-wide tournament, where they placed 4th overall and qualified to compete in the state championship, scheduled to take place next month! Our students placed top five in several individual events at the Baltimore City tournament, including: 1st: Bridge Building, Fossils; 2nd: Wheeled Vehicle; 3rd: Anatomy, Dynamic Planet; 4th: Water Bottle Rockets, Crime Busters; and 5th: Can’t Judge a Powder, Write It Do It.

We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments and we are excited to share their success with everyone!

MSO 2MSO 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register for Summer Camp! The 29th Street Community Center provides exciting summer camp opportunities for kids of different ages and interests. Click here for page 1 and here for page 2 of the summer camp flyer. Make sure to register soon because space is limited! If you have any questions, please contact Center Director, Hannah Gardi.

Posted in Greatere Homewood Voices, Life at GHCC, Neighborhoods, The 29th Street Community Center, Youth | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Oh Captain, My Captain” by Lottie Sneed

If your neighborhood is looking to start or grow a block captain network, “Oh Captain, My Captain” led by GHCC’s own Lottie Sneed is the workshop for you! To attend this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

GHCC's Lottie Sneed (left)

GHCC’s Lottie Sneed (left)

A strong community will often have a healthy neighborhood association, meeting regularly and working with key stakeholders to improve quality of life. However, who are your other neighborhood leaders,  the residents who know about everything happening on their blocks? Block Captains! How can you identify these leaders and get them to work together to improve their blocks and strengthen your association? Creating a block captain network can both provide your neighborhood association with a boost and give an outlet for residents who want to be more engaged but aren’t ready for Board leadership positions.

In this workshop, GHCC’s community organizing team will walk participants through our process for recruiting, training, and developing block captains. This interactive session will include strategies for engaging neighbors and planning block events, while also helping neighborhood association leaders think about how to best plan and execute a formal block captain network.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 

Posted in Community Development, Greatere Homewood Voices, Neighborhood Institute, Neighborhoods | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “So Many Liquor Stores, So Little Space” by Cassie Greisen

If your neighborhood is looking to address problems of alcohol outlet density and nuisance, “So Many Liquor Stores, So Little Space” led by Cassie Greisen, will help you learn new strategies for addressing these issues. To participate in this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Greisen

Cassie Greisen

Alcohol outlets that engage in dangerous and illegal serving practices contribute to a wide variety of neighborhood problems. Communities across the United States are using planning and zoning as a complement to the state liquor licensing process to address alcohol outlet density and nuisance. This workshop will discuss the status of Baltimore’s zoning rewrite, the history of the Baltimore City Liquor Board, and its recent reform.

Led by Cassie Greisen, a program manager at the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health, this workshop will explore how to diverse neighborhoods are working to address problem alcohol outlets in their communities. Representatives from York Road Partnership and Federal Hill Neighborhood Association will share strategies that were used in their recent liquor struggles.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Community Development, GHCC Digest, Neighborhood Institute, Neighborhoods | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

AmeriCorps VISTA Spotlight: Laquesha Wright

VISTA 019Laquesha Wright is a GHCC sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Maryland New Directions (MND) in Baltimore City to improve client relationships through a client focus program and increasing the effectiveness of the community partner outreach process as well as improving its relations with current employers.

My service experience as an AmeriCorps VISTA has been very influential in shaping my perspective on social policy issues.  Being an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer opened my eyes to the possibilities of what service can be. AmeriCorps VISTA has been a great outlet for my passion of giving back. I have been able to explore the possibilities of service beyond direct service and I have learned ways to strengthen and support the initiative of an organization by coordinating community service programs, raising awareness, promoting justice work, and providing logistical/administrative support.

CAB MeetingI have been able to work alongside MND to create sustainable resources that can be used to better impact the Baltimore community and contribute to its elevation. My work at MND has enabled me to focus on how to combine different skills and ways of thinking to help the community to achieve a common goal. Due to the service work I have done, I have developed a strong sense of connection to the people and things around me. Through these service experiences I have been able to work with many diverse people, which have changed, my current perception of the world and of social justice issues. My service work compels me to understand the origins of structural injustices and the policies that have perpetuated them on a global as well as national scale.

Posted in AmeriCorps, VISTA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “It’s More Than Just a Newsletter” by Kathy Nelson

If you are trying to improve your community’s communication methods, “It’s More Than Just a Newsletter” led by Kathy Nelson, is for you. To participate in this workshop, and many more, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Union SqWell-connected neighborhoods require strong and varied forms of communication. Neighborhood communication methods can be as unique as Baltimore’s neighborhoods, from multipage printed newsletters to NextDoor accounts and social media. Each of these techniques has advantages and disadvantages, and all need to be tailored to support your community. In the Union Square neighborhood, leaders have taken the talents of their residents to create a strong and stable communication structure, based around a regular printed newsletter.

Led by Union Square resident and broadcast professional Kathy Nelson, this workshop will offer a panel discussion outlining the steps in creating this newsletter, including layout, printing, and distribution. The workshop will also include tips for managing your neighborhood’s social media and online communications. If you are trying to improve your community’s communication methods, this workshop is for you.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). Register by following this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

Posted in Community Development, Events, Neighborhood Institute | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Orchards and Food Forests” by Ben Howard

If you are looking for a new and creative use for vacant space in your neighborhood, “Orchards and Food Forests: the Whats, Hows, and Whys” led by Ben Howard will be perfect for you. To participate for this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

Ben Howard of the Baltimore Orchard Project

When neighborhoods think about starting a garden on a piece of local land, they normally consider a community garden, where residents grow their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers for individual or communal harvest. This model of urban gardening works great, but a new idea is popping up all across America: urban orchards. Gardeners in urban orchards plant trees that grow fruits to be distributed to neighbors in need throughout a community. Fruit trees create a new dynamic from traditional gardens, providing spaces where neighbors can meet, rest, and seek refuge from the rush of the day. They bring pleasant blossoms and aromas in the spring, shade and comfort in the summer and food and fun in the fall.

In this workshop, Ben Howard from the Baltimore Orchard Project will discuss the advantages of urban orchards and how they can be incorporated alongside annual food gardens. He will also give expert knowledge on how to plan and plant an orchard in your community.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

Posted in Beautification, Community Development, Events, Greatere Homewood Voices, Neighborhood Institute, Neighborhoods, Volunteer Opportunities | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Internet for All” by Philip Spevak

If you are interested in bringing high-speed, low-cost internet to all Baltimore residents, “Internet for All” led by Philip Spevak, this workshop is for you! To participate in this workshop, and many others, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

Phil Spevak of the Baltimore Broadband Coalition (photo by Nicole Martin, courtesy of the Baltimore Messenger).

Phil Spevak of the Baltimore Broadband Coalition (photo by Nicole Martin, courtesy of the Baltimore Messenger).

The internet is an integral part in our lives. On a neighborhood level, it provides access to information that can accelerate community development and improve our local economy. On an individual level, internet connections are vital for finding jobs and researching key support structures. Unfortunately, internet connectivity in Baltimore is slower and more expensive than many other networks in US cities; many of our neighbors cannot afford internet access needed to improve their quality of life. For these reasons, several neighborhoods have begun working together to help bring internet competition to Baltimore.

The Baltimore Broadband Coalition provides a case study in successful city-wide advocacy. This workshop will expand your understanding of the broadband issue in your neighborhood and share how you can get involved with the Coalition. In addition, the presentation will share tips and tricks for creating a sustainable, city-wide advocacy movement.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 

Posted in Advocacy, Community Development, Events, Neighborhood Institute | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Design in Detail” by Laura Wheaton

If you are looking to plan a long-term community project of any size, the “Design in Detail” workshop led by Laura Wheaton, Program Manager at the Neighborhood Design Center, is for you! To participate in this workshop, and many more, register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

One of the more difficult meetings a neighborhood can hold is a visioning meeting. How do you create a community vision that is both aspirational and concrete? How do you plan both short-term and long-term? How do you create consensus around your vision? These are problems all neighborhoods struggle with, whether you are trying to plan a block project or create a development plan for your area. At this year’s Neighborhood Institute, this workshop will provide valuable tips for constructing a group vision.
Neighborhood Design Center Staff Portraits
ndc_logo_print_LauraW

The Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) provides pro-bono design services for community-initiated projects by leveraging the support of volunteer professionals. They coordinate and facilitate Visioning Workshops designed to bring community members together and construct a vision for their planning project, whether it is an edible garden, new building, or neighborhood master plan. Their workshop will share the best practices of coordinating and facilitating your own visioning process, including logistics, sample exercises, and facilitation tips. It will also discuss how and when communities can access pro-bono design assistance from NDC.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). To register for the event, follow this link. This year, the Institute will feature 36 workshops on a variety of topics relevant to community issues and City-wide opportunities. Check back here regularly for a preview of some of the workshops and presenters you can expect to see at this year’s Institute.

 

Posted in Beautification, Community Development, GHCC Digest, Greatere Homewood Voices, Neighborhood Institute, Neighborhoods | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

AmeriCorps*VISTA Spotlight: Dominiece Johnson

GHCC-sponsored VISTA Dominiece, serving with My Sister’s Circle in Baltimore, shares about what led her to service and what she’s learned since.

1st Day Photo2My name is Dominiece and I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with My Sister’s Circle (MSC). MSC is a long-term mentoring organization that works with at-risk middle and high school girls in Baltimore. MSC strives to provide opportunities and experiences that empower our girls to define success on their own terms, and ultimately become self-sufficient young women.

My story begins at Howard University.  While at Howard, I discovered my love for serving others through the work I was able to do with my sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. I was fortunate enough to participate in many service projects, but one of my proudest accomplishments was co- chairing Stop the Violence, an educational rally for middle school students in the district.  It was at this time that I recognized my passion for working with youth and knew that I always wanted to serve youth in some capacity.

039After graduating from Howard, I went on to pursue a career in retail working for Macy’s corporate office in New York City.  After two years, I left Macy’s and ventured to China to teach English as a second language. My days in the fashion industry were short lived because my passion and purpose involved helping others.

Upon my return from China, I learned about AmeriCorps VISTA from a previous colleague and friend who was serving in Tennessee. Immediately after I learned of the VISTA position as Program Coordinator with MSC, I knew this was where I was meant to be. I was instantly drawn to the organization because I so strongly believed in their mission. I could relate to the young women they served and deeply believed that my experiences coupled with life’s lessons, meant that I had so much to offer.

Dominece- My Sister's CircleAs Program Coordinator, I developed MSC’s first-ever after school program for sixth grade students. I have built relationships with my students and their families, school staff, volunteers. I have assisted with planning monthly events and have become somewhat of a social media ‘guru’.  I have gained so much experience in my current role. Greatest of all and certainly the most rewarding part of my position has been the opportunity to build relationships with the girls. One could say that it was love at first sight; we were instantly drawn to each other. They have changed my trajectory in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I have been inspired and forever changed.

While this position has been more rewarding than I ever anticipated, it has not been without its challenges. I have been called to expand my personal beliefs in order to understand the challenges and circumstances of the girls that I am serving. One of the hardest things to do in this role has been to share my personal values without projecting my own cultural beliefs onto my students. Through it all, I am so thankful to be an AmeriCorps VISTA. I have been tested, yet inspired.  Best of all, I have had the opportunity to work alongside many amazing individuals, all committed to improving the lives of others.

 

Each year, GHCC brings together a cohort of emerging nonprofit leaders who are passionate about service and community development to serve as AmeriCorps VISTA members.  GHCC-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a solid foundation of skills they can use as a springboard for careers in government, non-profits, education, and much more. To learn about applying for the 2015-2016 GHCC VISTA Cohort, click here.

 

Posted in AmeriCorps, VISTA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment