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Community Highlights

Maryland: Highlights from Baltimore

The American Brewery, Humanim, Baltimore Headquarters

Governor Lael Brainard Visits Baltimore Community Leaders

Community Leaders gathered in April at Humanim at the American Brewery to share community development activities in East Baltimore with Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard. Lunch was provided by City Seeds, a Humanim Social Enterprise.

Karen Stokes, CEO, Strong City BaltimoreĀ - Strong City Baltimore, Cross Street Partners and City Life are working together to revitalize a Hoen Lithograph, a historic manufacturing facility.

Conversation facilitators Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, senior fellow of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now, and Eric Booker, deputy housing commissioner and 2nd vice chair of Humanim Board, led a discussion on “Workforce Development and Social Enterprise” with presentations by Henry Posko, president and chief executive officer, Humanim; Cindy Plavier Truitt, chief business officer; and Jeff Carroll, vice president, Details Deconstruction. A second discussion panel focused on “Quality Affordable Housing” with Rev. Calvin E. Keene, Memorial Baptist Church, BUILD, and Sean Closkey, president, ReBuild Metro.

“Humanim’s space in the American Brewery has anchored redevelopment in the area,” said Jeanne Milliken Bonds, senior manager, regional community development, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. “The partnerships they have with the Baltimore County Department of Social Services and the Community College of Baltimore County to provide comprehensive workforce development services are leading practices for other communities to replicate.”

The Baltimore Food Hub is a historic renovation project designed to bring the food economy to East Baltimore.

Humanim’s social enterprise, City Seeds, provides quality food and good jobs, while growing Baltimore’s local food economy. They do this by sourcing local, training and hiring individuals with barriers to employment, and supporting local food entrepreneurs through their business training program School of Food. City Seeds services include wholesale food production, catering, and retail kiosks and cafés.

Community leaders participating included: Diane Bell McKoy, Associated Black Charities of Maryland; Danise Jones Dorsey, My Brothers Keeper; Laurence Campbell, West Baltimore Community Development Corporation; Wanda Best, Upton Planning Committee; Dr. Gary Rodwell, Coppin Heights CDC; William Ariano, Baltimore Community Lending; Al Pina, Florida Minority Community Reinvestment Coalition; and Andre Pernell, U.S. Army, Executive Sponsor, Chair and Director of the James Mott Community Assistance Project.

Left tpo Right: Touring American Communities Trustā€™ Food Hub: Jeanne Milliken Bonds, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Peter Dolkart, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Governor Lael Brainard, Federal Reserve Board of Governors; China Boak Terrell, American Communities Trust; Amanda Roberts, Federal Reserve Board; Anna Alvarez Boyd. Federal Reserve Board; Sandy Tormoen, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond; Cailin McGough, American Communities Trust

Governor Brainard used the occasion to speak on “Community Development in Baltimore and a Few Observations on Community Reinvestment Act Modernization.” “We, at the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, recognize the unique challenges Baltimore faces, and we are committed to remaining focused on this city and to partnering where that can be helpful. Baltimore and its residents deserve a more prosperous and equitable future,” said Brainard.

Following the community meeting, the Federal Reserve team toured the area. “The Oliver/Broadway East/Colington Neighborhoods of Baltimore are models of successful ground-up programs to address historic preservation and reuse, affordable housing, workforce development and food deserts,” said Peter Dolkart, regional community development manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. “The Oliver community has often been characterized by economic depression, housing abandonment and civil unrest — in 1968 and again in 2015.”

The team was treated to dessert at the Baltimore Food Hub, a historic renovation project designed to bring the food economy to East Baltimore by co-locating food enterprises on a 3.5-acre campus to create jobs, increase food access and create new gateways to the city. Humanim has moved its City Seeds and School of Food operations into the teaching kitchen, commercial kitchen and office space at the 7,500-square-foot center, which will serve as an anchor for the $25 million campus.

The day concluded with a tour of the Hoen Lithograph Building where developers Strong City Baltimore, Cross Street Partners and City Life are working together to revitalize the 80,000 square foot historic manufacturing facility into a job training facility, adult literacy center, community space and offices.

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