Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Know and Grow Your Volunteers” by Elisha Hawk, Jaclyn Range, and Annie Kaplan

Are you struggling to attract attendees to your general meetings? Is it difficult to get participants to volunteer for your organization’s events? If so, “Know and Grow Your Volunteers” will be a great professional development opportunity for a member of your non-profit. You can register for the 2015 Neighborhood Institute here.

For many emerging non-profits and local community associations, creating an active and engaged membership base is a constant challenge. While it might be easy to get members to join your organization, getting them to volunteer and invest in organizational activities can be more difficult. If you are looking to grow your non-profit’s volunteer base, this inspiring and interactive workshop is for you.

This workshop will be led by Elisha Hawk of the Yost Legal Group. Elisha is a Board Member for two local non-profit organizations, the Maryland Association for Justice and Back on My Feet Baltimore. Using these two case studies, Elisha will share tips for how to empower your members to feel more like citizens and take a more active role in your organization. Small steps to help participants feel more connected to an event can lead to a large increase in volunteering members. Elisha will be joined in her workshop by Jackie Range, Executive Director of Back on my Feet, and Annie Kaplan from Fay Kaplan Law.

Elisha Hawk (center)(photo courtesy of Maryland Association for Justice)

Elisha Hawk with Back on My Feet Baltimore volunteers. (Photo courtesy of the Maryland Association for Justice, Inc.)

 

GHCC’s 2015 Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18, 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.

 


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Writing for Community Advocacy” by Claudia Diamond

If you are a local resident or nonprofit professional looking to improve the quality of your persuasive emails and letters, “Effective Writing for Community Leaders” by Claudia Diamond would be a great presentation for you. You can register for the Neighborhood Institute here.

Community leaders often find themselves needing to write letters and emails to promote change for their neighborhood. These documents can range from letters of support for community projects, to grant applications, to zoning appeals, and more. Oftentimes, these letters are directed at elected officials, bureaucrats, or large institutions, and attempt to influence policy decisions within a neighborhood. A poorly written or ineffective appeal might harm a neighborhood’s chances to improve its quality of life.

Claudia Diamond outside the Lyric (photo courtesy of University of Baltimore).

Claudia Diamond with law students outside of the Lyric. (photo courtesy of University of Baltimore)

Claudia is the Director of Academic Support at the University of Baltimore School of Law and is a veteran legal writing professor. In her workshop, Claudia will share skills taught in law school to help you write powerfully and convincingly. Tips and tricks will include common writing and grammar mistakes and ways to organize your writing to make the best possible case. After exploring these strategies, workshop participants will engage in a collaborative drafting exercise to work on specific appeals they might need to make.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute is on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). Register for the event 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.

 


Neighborhood Institute Workshop Preview: “Combating Blight in Your Neighborhood” by Peter Duvall

If your neighborhood is looking to address problem and vacant properties, this workshop will help you understand your options. Register for the Neighborhood Institute and help improve the safety and beauty of your block!

GHCC's Revitalization Manager, Peter Duvall, in Harwood.

GHCC’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager, Peter Duvall.

One of the first impressions of a neighborhood comes from the quality of its housing stock. A block filled with properly maintained, occupied homes is safer and more attractive to potential residents. Neighborhoods throughout Baltimore City deal with a variety of problem properties, including vacant homes, nuisance and criminal properties, houses that are not kept up to expected housing code standards.

Navigating the code enforcement system in Baltimore City can be complex and confusing. For nearly a decade, GHCC’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager Peter Duvall has supported neighborhood leaders looking to combat blight in their communities. Peter works with residents to identify problem properties and work with City officials to ensure timely code enforcement. In the “Combating Blight in Your Neighborhood” workshop, Peter will focus on how community residents can support enforcing the City’s housing, zoning, building, and related codes to maintain the appearance and value of Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

GHCC’s annual Neighborhood Institute will be held on Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Baltimore Design School (1500 Barclay Street). You can register for the event 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.


Women’s Empowerment Conference comes to Barclay

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On July 24, GHCC and AHC Baltimore held the first Women’s Empowerment Conference.  While the targeted audience was young adult women between the ages of 18 and 35, the event quickly evolved to include elders.  Keynote speaker Dr. Pamela Love, challenged the women to confront life challenges with the help of each other and emphasized that seeking support is not a sign of weakness.

Other speakers, local leaders, and residents participated in sessions on money management, co-parenting, self-esteem, and domestic violence.  There were 27 women in attendance and 18 children.  The response was extremely positive and already there are inquiries regarding the next conference.

Special thanks to Dallas Nicholas Sr. Elementary School for hosting the conference, all of the businesses that provided in-kind support, and the numerous volunteers who helped make this event happen!


24th Annual Adult Learning Center Achievement Event

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” – William Arthur Ward. Intake and Assessment specialist JoAnn McKinney shared Ward’s words this past Tuesday evening at GHCC’s Adult Learning Center’s (ALC) 24th Annual Achievement Event, which celebrates the accomplishments of learners enrolled in ALC classes. More than 100 community members, ALC supporters, volunteers, and learners attended the event, which was hosted at the Second Presbyterian Church’s Smith Hall.622A7833

ALC director Garland Thomas kicked off the evening by highlighting some of the great accomplishments the center has made this year: including a dozen new GED graduates, 2 ESOL graduates who have moved on the Baltimore City Community College, as well as more than 50 adults enrolled in the ALC’s workforce development program.

As the guests settled in to their dinner, compliments of Yum’s Asian Bistro, assistant director Teddy Edouard began a series of recognitions by honoring Julie Ritchick as the ESOL teacher of the year. The evening featured a host of honors and acknowledgments including Learner Programs Coordinator Kimi Lillig’s recognition of Zachary Bass as the volunteer of the year. In speaking of Bass’ contributions Kimi 622A7869noted that “…As our Computers I and now Computers II instructor, he patiently instructs and guides our learners to understand and use the computer in their daily lives.  He goes beyond simple explanation and ensures the learners in his class feel empowered and comfortable to solve their own technology issues. … [and] .  It’s that kind of dedication and care that I want to recognize and commend.”

For all those who attended, keynote speaker; the actress, dancer, teacher, and story teller Maria Broom, (best known for her roles in HBO’s The Wire and The Corner) was a true highlight. Framing her congratulations and support of ALC learners in the context of her own life, Ms. Broom weaved together a tale success and a message of persistence and dedication that undoubtedly inspired all who were present. “Do what you love” she repeated as she applauded the accomplishments of the ALC’s learners and reminded us all that happiness is the greatest achievement worth pursuing. By the end of her talk Ms. Broom had the entire room on their feet, dancing along with her, in celebration of themselves and in acknowledgment of the power and wisdom that every person posses. 622A7915

Following the keynote address, ALC staff continued to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of learners in the New Citizens, ESOL, and ABE programs. Of special note on the evening however, was Community Workforce director Chris Wilson’s recognition of one of GHCC’s first workforce connections graduates Kirk Bumbrey. Kirk, who Chris praised for his diligence and commitment to finding work, successfully completed the workforce training program last year and is now gainfully employed with White Cap construction.

The entire evening was a huge success. Though special recognition was given to some outstanding learners, volunteers, and teachers, as director Garland Thomas reminded us in closing, it was a night to honor the accomplishments and dedication of all those at the ALC. For the staff and volunteers it was a thank you, and for the more than 500 ALC learners across the city it was a testament to their dedication and in turn an inspiration for us all.