ReWired For Change Wired Up! Community Activation Grants campaign

This year, RWFC, in association with the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute, embarks upon our grant making endeavors by awarding $20,000 grants to small, minority-led community based organizations and connecting them to the important technical resources required to assist them in leveraging this award for more funding dollars in the future.

In the wake of the Baltimore Uprising, we see an opportunity to further support and empower people living in marginalized communities by raising funds to support grassroots minority-led organizations who offer innovative programming for youth. Inspired by our experiences working with low-income residents through our Baltimore Wake Initiative, The Wired Up! Community Activation Grants will put critical funding dollars into the hands of those who can be the best service providers for marginalized youth — organizations whose staff have created deep bonds with underserved residents because they have deeply rooted, long standing relationships with them.

Program staff who speak the cultural language of the participants they serve have the ability to navigate subtle, but critical barriers to service that larger outside organizations often come up against in their work. These barriers sometimes remain hidden behind the data that, on the surface, may substantiate their work, but do not translate into what is visible of their efforts on the ground. The Wired Up! Community Activation Grants Campaign seeks to change that dynamic – not by replacing those important resources and outside organizations whose work has been helpful to these communities, but by supporting that important foundational work through the development of self-empowerment strategies for underserved residents who have their own ideas about how to uplift their communities.

STAY TUNED for more information as we roll out the details of this initiative!

PAST INITIATIVES

ReWired for Life!

ReWired for Life! is a life skills, violence prevention and self-esteem building program that uses media, resource activities, and the arts as tools for personal transformation. Through various interactive lesson plans, participants learn the value of self-reflection and the necessity of thinking critically about their life choices, family and community relationships, and how to succeed in life and change the world around them. In the pilot program, the HBO hit series “The Wire” was used as a teaching tool where students view, analyze and discuss various episodes, while thinking about the implications of the themes in their lives. ReWired for Life! participants were youth, ages 14-21, who had been recently been released from the juvenile system. We are greatly indebted to Parks to People, and Youth Opportunity! Baltimore in East Baltimore. both for the valuable support and assistance they offered to the ReWired For Life! program during the pilot phase. ReWired for Change! is currently working to place this program in satellite locations.

The Baltimore Wake Up

The Baltimore Wake Up was a community empowerment initiative of Rewired for Change. Recognizing that the residents of our disenfranchised communities have limited, if any access to a national platform, but are still keeping up the “good fight” on the ground level everyday with little support, Baltimore City residents were empowered to develop and lead various community service projects. In the process, participants acquired the civic engagement and community-building skills needed to create long-term sustainable change in their own neighborhoods. The idea for The Baltimore Wake Up was originally cultivated by Donnie Andrews, Founder of Why Murder? and Sonja Sohn, Founder/CEO of ReWired For Change.