Food and Resource Distribution Hub in Cherry Hill for Covid-19

Post provided by Eric Jackson, Servant-Director of Black Yield Institute – partner of UMBC’s Baltimore Field School in 2021

Black Yield Institute, along with Cherry Hill Development Corporation, Elev8 Baltimore, Raising InnerCity Hope (RICH), and Youth Resiliency Institute, manages and operates a food and resource distribution hub that supplies a monthly supply of food to 200 elders and families in Cherry Hill. We also supply goods to small businesses and nonprofits feeding people across Baltimore. Most food donations will be provided by a local foundation and others by emergency food efforts. Some food will be procured from Black farmers in the region and produced by BYI. Since March 14, we have collectively:

  • Provided 500 to 600 nutritional balanced meals per day (with support from Mera Kitchen Collective & Wilde Thyme)
  • Shared 200 total bags of activities and hygiene products
  • Shared over 5200 total meals.
  • Worked over 800 hours of service
  • Provided on-site and provided resources to other communities from West, East and South Baltimore
  • Procured 50 pounds of salad and brassicas from a local farm and harvested 30 pounds of collards from our farm, Cherry Hill Urban Community Garden
  • Distributed 10,000 pounds of fresh, frozen, and dried goods

Please feel free to donate to our work through PayPal (blackyieldinstitute@gmail.com) and CashApp and Venmo ($/@blackyield). Learn more or discuss other ways to support, like in-kind donations, by emailing Brother Eric at ejackson@blackyieldinstitute.org. The Black Yield Institute family really appreciates your consideration of monetary and/or in-kind donations and good vibes, prayers. Please share with others!

Arabber Preservation Society Covid 19 Response

This call comes from Holden Warren, who has been working with Arabbers and with food justice efforts in Baltimore for years:

For over 200 years the Arabbers have been a trusted institution of Baltimore’s Black community, a population that has shown to be disproportionately impacted by the current Covid 19 virus. The Arabber Preservation Society wants to leverage this trust to prepare, protect and nourish the community. Starting Wed April 8th, Arabbers will be given training on the protective measures and basic PPE training, then in collaboration with Food Rescue Baltimore, will give away rescued food, cloth masks, gloves, reusable bags and corona virus information into the east and west side neighborhoods they normally service. Depending on the steadiness of food and supplies, we want to go out multiple times per week.

We are looking for donations of cloth masks, gloves, disinfectants, and reusable bags for distribution and money to support the Arabbers, horse, stable hands, and support staff. 

More updates coming – to help reach out to Holden@arabbers.com or www.arabbers.com or www.foodrescuebaltimore.org

VISIT THESE SITES TO DONATE AND SUPPORT THIS WORK:

Food Rescue Baltimore and Arabber Preservation Society

Holden Warren was in the Peace Corps in Tonga and later in Monrovia during the Ebola outbreak. He brings these experiences in public health education and inequities in our systems to addressing today’s current challenges. Holden and crew are organizing free food distribution with specific health education messaging for people on their routes.

Holden made a short film John & James (2018), an intimate portrait of the cross-cultural bond between Baltimore’s iconic Arabbers and a community of rural Pennsylvania Mennonites. United by a love of horses and decades of doing business at the New Holland auction, they finally break bread together. 

We were in the process of organizing a showing and discussion of the film this spring at UMBC when the current pandemic hit. We are committed to bringing this programming back when we resume in-person activities on campus and develop the Baltimore Field School in 2021. However, during the current emergency, please share information and donate supplies or money to these organizations doing important work on the front lines in Baltimore.

All images from the Arabber Preservation Society facebook page.

For more information, see the Baltimore Sun article and video Coronavirus fight shifts to Baltimore’s poor neighborhoods as city leaders battle mistrust

Thank you… more updates to come.

Baltimore Field School 2021

Due to the Covid-19 emergency, the Baltimore Field School project team requested and received a one-year extension from Mellon on the project and plan to pause major work until this summer. The inaugural Baltimore Field School will be postponed until summer 2021.

As director of the Orser Center, Nicole King will continue to work on setting up the project’s website, studying similar summer institutes, and developing more resources on public humanities. Our wonderful Project Manager, Imani Spence, and King will remain in contact with our partners at Black Yield Institute and the Southwest Partnership. The project team hopes to resume some planning capacity this summer and we will convene a meeting of this group again at the start to the fall 2020 semester.

Here’s a brief overview of the project and our current partners on the Summer 2021 BALTIMORE FIELD SCHOOL:

The summer 2021 Baltimore Field School, a humanities-based training intensive, will create a framework for faculty and graduate students to collaborate with community organizations in developing methods for ethical research and teaching projects focused on public humanities in Baltimore. The project is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The pilot Baltimore Field School will run for two weeks in summer 2021. All UMBC faculty and graduate students working in the humanities are eligible to apply. The field school will have approximately 12 participants from UMBC. Participants should be interested in publicly engaged research and programming in Baltimore. All field school participants will be paid a stipend of $3,000 and lunch will be provided during the field school summer institutes. The field school will be based at the CAHSS downtown classroom at the Lion Brothers Building in Southwest Baltimore, and participants will be working in the field in South and Southwest Baltimore.

PRIMARY FIELD SCHOOL PARTNERS

Eric Jackson and Black Yield Institute

Black Yield Institute is a Pan-African power institution based in Baltimore, Maryland, serving as a think tank and collective action network that addresses food apartheid. Since our beginning in November 2015, we have worked collaboratively with black people and entities, along with other institutions, in pursuit of Black land and food sovereignty. We are to build independent power by establishing an action network and serving as an incubator for ideas and projects. We are unapologetically a Black-led institution, utilizing Afrocentric, Pan-African, and human rights frameworks to anchor our thought and works toward liberation through food. 

Eric Jackson is an organizer, educator, and filmmaker, humbly serving as the visionary and a co-founder of Black Yield Institute, committed to building a movement toward Black Land and Food Sovereignty in Baltimore. Currently, he and his team, are committed to a 1.25 acre urban agriculture operation and building a cooperatively-owned grocery store in South Baltimore, while also conducting Black-led research, facilitating political education, and organizing an action network. Eric has over a decade of experience working in and with communities operating programming and helping people to build power and address a myriad of issues, including food inequities. A Baltimore native from the Cherry Hill Community, Eric is the recipient of numerous awards and a public speaker who has presented hundreds of addresses and workshops to diverse groups about food sovereignty, building power, and establishing strong organizations to address complex social issues, specific to people of African Descent. He is affirmed in and secured this work through the love of his family and friends, especially the brilliance of his Queen, Diara, and four children, Oryan, Erian, Amir, & Kamau!

Curtis Eaddy and Southwest Partnership

The Southwest Partnership envisions an awesome, healthy, architecturally beautiful, diverse, cohesive community of choice built on mutual respect and shared responsibility. We embrace all diversity: from race, gender, and sexual orientation to economic, education, and housing choice. Our diversity is our strength. The Southwest Partnership aims to maintain this vision through productive land uses and partnerships that will maintain a cohesive community. We partner with our neighbors, surrounding communities, city government, area institutions, and businesses, knowing that when we take the right road together, and with integrity, everyone will benefit. The Southwest Partnership is a coalition of seven neighborhood associations and six anchor institutions in Southwest Baltimore. We work together to build awesome communities in the Southwest Partnership Area: the neighborhoods of Barre Circle, Franklin Square, Hollins Roundhouse, Mount Clare, Pigtown, Poppleton, and Union Square.

Curtis Eaddy was born in Baltimore and raised in Poppleton. He is a community artist and a Hip Hop DJ and Emcee, who has been programming events for more than ten-years. As a student at Frostburg State University, he founded an Arts & Entertainment campus-organization to provide diverse cultural events to unite a non-diverse college-community. After graduating, he returned to Baltimore and continued organizing for public events in Baltimore City Public Schools, and non-profit organizations (College Bound Foundation, Reginald F. Lewis Museum). His passion for community development brought him to the Southwest Partnership. His plan as Marketing and Events Manager is to identify opportunities for and develop new events to help bridge the disconnect between the neighborhoods in the community. Curtis is responsible for supporting and publicizing community events and marketing the Southwest Partnership and the neighborhoods.

Project Evaluator/Assessor

Dr. Tahira Mahdi is a community psychologist and consultant based in the Baltimore-Washington, DC region. Tahira develops and facilitates workshops and presentations for community programs, businesses, organizations, and college/university students and personnel regarding internal & external community matters, equity & diversity, and research & evaluation.

Questions or Thoughts? Email Nicole King nking@umbc.edu