Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

What’s new at Strong City and Beyond

By Mike Cross-Barnet Before Freddie Gray’s death, before the Baltimore Uprising, before the consent decree and the Gun Trace Task Force scandal and 300 homicides a year, Marilyn Ness wanted to make a documentary about “what was fundamentally broken between police and citizens,” and was looking for the right location for that narrative. She chose Baltimore, and in late 2014 began the three-year process that resulted in Charm City. The film, a fiscally sponsored project
Gee Gee Burnside’s day often starts at 4 or 5 a.m. She spends the morning working as a certified nursing assistant, taking care of a roster of patients that includes her own mother. Once that’s done, she turns her attention to her new job as Assistant Program Manager of the 29th Street Community Center. That’s a lot of responsibility for a 20-year-old, but as Gee Gee sees it, she is exactly where she needs to
By Maggie Switzer (with Erin Thomas) Upon graduating from college in 2016, I knew I wanted to do a year or two of service. I turned first to AmeriCorps VISTA, because I deeply respected the call to serve in the United States and support the effort to eradicate poverty at home. I joined the VISTA team at Strong City Baltimore in July 2016, and served for a year as a VISTA volunteer with Crossroads Community Food Network, in
Imagine you’re a principal trying to get ready for the new school year. It’s a big challenge – a thousand different tasks to get done, a hundred things that could go wrong, and all of it resting on your shoulders. If you’re a first-time principal it’s even tougher, because on top of all those expectations, you will essentially be learning on the job. Now consider this scenario: It’s a new school year, you’re a first-time
By Mike Cross-Barnet Tamara Payne says that before 2007, “I didn’t even know there was a ‘Harwood.’” That seems amazing now, considering the strong influence her artistry has had on this rapidly reviving neighborhood. Attractive mosaic house number signs on many blocks. Colorful flower baskets on Lorraine Avenue. The beautiful glass-and-ceramic mural at the entrance to Barclay Elementary/Middle School. Workshops at the 29th Street Community Center. And, most recently, a butterfly-themed community art project on