Who Are We?
3 Black-Led Organizations, 1 Goal: Empowerment
In late 2019, The Collective secured funding from the T. Rowe Price Foundation to hire a Chief Development Officer (CDO) which is a shared fundraising resource across the three organizations and for The Collective in order to help build capacity and ensure sustainability. As part of this partnership, we plan to empower other community-based organizations to build capacity and replicate this shared CDO model with both technical support to cohorts and direct funding to a select group.
A recent joint article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by Echoing Green and Bridgespan shed light on the disparities in funding to Black-led organizations and the crippling impact it has on those organization’s ability to develop capacity, provide more services and become sustainable in the long-run.The needs faced by these organizations requires a new approach given that the traditional ways of doing things have not moved the needle where it matters most.
Meet the Team
Founder, The Be. Org
Tonee Lawson is a Washington, DC area native, but has made Baltimore her home since her college years at Towson University, where she graduated with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics (MB3); and Biology. She also has a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology. Tonee is the founder and executive director The Be. Org, a youth development nonprofit. She is a 2020 Baltimore Corps Elevation Awardee & 2018-2019 Johns Hopkins Social Innovation alum. where she developed a virtual reality curriculum for social emotional learning in youth.
Founder, I am MENtality
Darren Rogers is an experienced community leader who is currently the Assistant Program Manager of Youth Support Services in the Mayor's Office of Children and Family Success. Since 2019 he has been a Baltimore Corps Elevation Awardee and is receiving developmental training to increase his leadership capacity in the area of program oversight and development. Through his continual efforts to develop himself and his organization he has received technical assistance from Maryland Mentor for two years as a part of the “QPP” Quality Program Partners initiative geared to improve the overall quality of mentoring programs in the United States.
Brittany Young is the founder and CEO of B-360, an organization that utilizes dirt bike culture to end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline, and build bridges in communities through STEM education and career opportunities. Since launching in 2017, B-360 has served over 7,000 students, hired 30+ dirt bike riders, and worked tirelessly to shift the culture. She currently serves on the transition team for Mayor Brandon Scott. Some of Brittany’s accolades include being a 2020 TED Fellow, Leading Women of MD, Baltimore Corps, Social Innovation Lab at Johns Hopkins, #8 Baltimore Start Up, 2018 Echoing Green Fellow, 2018 OSI Baltimore Fellow, 2018 Social Innovator of the Year, 2019 Trailblazer in Humanitarianism and more. Her work has been featured in CBS, Forbes, Teen Vogue, NBC Sports and AfroPunk. B-360’s partners have included Red Bull and Toyota, among others.
As a graduate student at The University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, she focuses in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. In 2017, she received the Diverse Communities Scholarship through the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference, and in 2019, received the Charles R. Stephens Scholarship for the AADO/CASE Conference on Diverse Philanthropy & Leadership. Last year, she worked with the Association of Black Fundraising Executives as Philanthropy Fellow through the Do Good Institute. Most recently, she completed her time as William Randolph Hearst Fellow with the Aspen Institute's Philanthropy and Social Innovation.
Robbin Lee is the Executive Director of Baltimore Homecoming, Inc. Prior to joining Homecoming, she produced hundreds of events for nonprofits in the DMV such as The Phillips Collection and Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID) all the while serving as Events Director for The Emporiyum – voted DC and Baltimore’s best food event in 2014 and 2015. She is a part of the organizing committee for Chinatown Collective’s Charm City Night Market as well as a founding member of the Baltimore Chapter of NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals). Robbin is also a Thread volunteer at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.
Matthew Reeds is the Founder and Executive Director of The Reeds Fund. The Reeds Fund educates, advocates, and liberates families impacted by autism and sarcoidosis. Matthew is a proud graduate of Morgan State University and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. At Morgan, he served as Student Regent on the Board of Regents of the University. Matthew is a rising leader in Baltimore and was named by Baltimore Business Journal as a Person on the Move in 2018.
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