Social entrepreneurs and community leaders from around the U.S. gathered in Baltimore for inaugural convening
More than 60 Echoing Green Fellows from around the U.S. gathered in Baltimore Oct. 6–8 for the inaugural Echoing Green Black Male Achievement (BMA) Convening to celebrate impact and drive progress toward advancing the life outcomes of black men and boys in the United States. These social entrepreneurs joined conversations with more than 100 partners and guests including representatives from the Citi Foundation, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA), the Obama Foundation, and Kenan Charitable Trust. The BMA Convening was presented by Echoing Green with support from the Citi Foundation as part of the Inclusive Leadership Initiative, which works to expand support of leaders who represent communities of color, with particular emphasis on those who are creating employment opportunities for young people of color across the U.S.
In 2012, Echoing Green launched its Black Male Achievement Fellowship with the specific goal of investing in social entrepreneurs working to further the life outcomes of black men and boys in the U.S., including in Baltimore. To date, Echoing Green has invested more than $6 million in 86 BMA Fellows through the Fellowship program. Collectively, the 2012–2018 classes have raised and earned more than $53 million for their work.
Collaborative Solutions to Drive Black Male Achievement
The heart of this convening was the opportunity for social entrepreneurs and leaders working in the BMA field to learn from each other and others in the community. Along with hosting in-depth conversations for Fellows on fundraising, self-care, creating intentional ecosystems, and more, we welcomed Edgar Villanueva, author of Decolonizing Wealth, to speak about philanthropic fundraising and wealth with Echoing Green’s Head of Impact, Laura Weidman Powers.
At our Celebrate Black Excellence reception, nearly 200 guests joined us to hear a panel on The State of Black Lives, which featured Natasha Alford, deputy editor at theGrio; Derrick Braziel, co-founder of MORTAR; Cole, co-founder of Brioxy and Dovecote Café; and Candice C. Jones, president and CEO of Public Welfare Foundation.
The reception also featured remarks by Shawn Dove, president and CEO of the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, and Tia Hodges, senior program officer of the Citi Foundation.
Echoing Green President Cheryl L. Dorsey, a native of Baltimore herself, has been instrumental in driving social justice and social innovation solutions to the city.
“Baltimore an incredible, resilient city, and I’m energized by the social innovation work happening here—it is so important and personal to me. Bringing together community leaders, activists, educators, funders and more to come together in Baltimore and support the Black Male Achievement movement was a milestone for me. The Echoing Green Fellows at the center of this work are paving the way for real systemic social change.”
Cheryl L. Dorsey
President of Echoing Green
Echoing Green Fellows working in Baltimore, including Cole, Fagan Harris, and Brittany Young, participated with leaders who traveled from cities like New York, Oakland, Miami, Cleveland, Detroit, and more, to discuss the challenges and opportunities they are facing as they launch and scale organizations in their communities.
“I cannot say ‘thank you’ to my Echoing Green family enough. The connections, my fellow 2017 BMA Fellows and the broader BMA community, and the love and support has meant so much. This was an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Co-Founder of MORTAR
This convening was not only a celebration of the commitment of these social innovators in the Black Male Achievement field but was also Echoing Green’s moment to chart the course on where this community goes next. We are proud to have hosted this event in Baltimore and know this will serve as a powerful call to action for others to join us.