BALTIMORE WISDOM PROJECT is one of the best charities to donate to in 2023.
Who We Are
The Baltimore Wisdom Project (BWP) is the Baltimore division and headquarters of Wisdom Projects, Inc., a secular, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are committed to building peace and uplifting equality through community education and community healing. We organize movements and build communities for nonviolence and justice. Our fieldwork has high impact. We reduce violent incidents among youth and families enrolled in our programming. Many of the people with whom we work live in low-income housing communities or public housing. We empower them to become neighborhood peace advocates, ambassadors, and leaders. We do this by championing equality in their lives and in the manner in which they are treated. We view equity as inextricably linked to peace, wellness, and happiness for all people and not just a few. Our work is full-time and daily as we embed ourselves in the communities that we serve. We conduct ourselves with maximal cultural sensitivity and cultural responsiveness. Our staff live close to the communities that we serve in the city and we make our "offices" in the field.
What We Do
Currently, we work five-days-a-week and on many weekends in partnership with the 200-plus-year-old McKim Center in East Baltimore City in an out-of-school-time program augmented by support groups, peer counseling, and community counseling.
At McKim, we prevent violence and cultivate a culture of healing and justice. We also offer deep institutional support to elevate the McKim Center's operations, programming, and fundraising. We fundraise to support our work with the McKim Center and we do not charge the McKim Center or take compensation or fees from any community members.
At the outset of our McKim Center Project, after extensive community participatory research (involving home visits, community counseling, case management, and intake sessions where we discovered and assessed youth and families' needs, values, histories, identities, customs, and practices in culturally sensitive ways), we were able to enroll approximately 1⁄8 of the total population of 1,549 low-income predominately Black households in the four housing projects surrounding the McKim Center (Albemarle Square, Latrobe Homes, Douglass Homes, and Pleasant View Gardens). Additional youth and families live in other parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore County. Consequently, our McKim Center Project serves approximately 300 youth and families year-round. We learned that approximately 52 percent of the people that we serve are women and girls, and the remainder are men, boys, and nonbinary individuals. Almost 91 percent of the youth and families that we serve report being trauma-impacted survivors and/or victims of violence.
Designed by Upāsikā Miss tree turtle, the Director (CEO) of the Baltimore Wisdom Project, our out-of-school-time curricula empowers youth and families to become neighborhood peace advocates, ambassadors, and leaders. We do this by creating spaces and places where youth, families, and organizations may embrace healing arts like trauma-sensitivity, disability-awareness, restorative justice practices, conflict transformation, de-escalation, mindfulness, and social and emotional learning.
For youth, we integrate these healing arts into daily out-of-school-time lessons (as well as school-time consultations) emphasizing STEM (life sciences, environmental justice, and engineering); justice studies; cultural studies; and civic studies. Nature and wilderness studies are a vital part of our scientific curricula.
For adults, we offer community counseling, peer counseling, support groups, transportation, assistance with administrative forms, limited help with emergency expenses, and other wrap-around services to aide community members as they contend with both interpersonal and systemic problems that impede peace, health, and wellness. We call these adult oriented services the "Inner Ground Railroad."
Previously, the Baltimore Wisdom Project worked in partnership with community centers like the former Penn North Kids Safe Zone/Harambee Center in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester and the 29th Street Community Center in the Greenmount East neighborhood of East Baltimore City.
We are a regional leader in neighborhood violence prevention and holistic learning. We view peacemaking as one of the highest expressions of holistic learning. Upāsikā Miss tree turtle defines holistic learning in the following manner:
"Holistic learning transforms the whole person and the whole community: physical, mental, and spiritual. 'Spiritual' refers to secular, ethical values advancing a higher good. (Reminder: Wisdom Projects is a secular, nonpartisan nonprofit organization.)"
Miss turtle goes on to say the following, "Holistic education also refers to values and practices that do no harm by advancing peaceful, healthy living within us (in our bodies and minds), between us (in our social and emotional relationships), for us (meaning, all of us equitably and inclusively, and not just a few), and for our environments and the natural world."
She adds that, "Holistic education views community members as the best assets in their own uplift. Thus, our holistic approach is deeply asset-driven and salutogenic. (In other words, we do not view community members or communities as broken, deficit, or pathogenic. They are, by turns, fortunate and challenged by some of the same patterns of inequity and violence that plague much of American society). A key component of our holistic learning is a contemplative method for fostering a life dedicated to calm, focus, awareness, self-care, and community-care in the present moment called community participatory mindfulness™."
We are one of the best charities to donate to in 2023.
Click here to visit the website of Wisdom Projects, Inc., our umbrella nonprofit organization.
Click here to visit the website of the Chicago Wisdom Project.
Visit Reimagining Magazine.
Listen in to the Reimagining Podcast.
Click here for our policies.
Click here to learn about our staff.
Click here to learn about our values and practices.
Click here to learn about our approach to restorative justice.
Click here to learn about the standards to which we adhere within our learning environments.
Click here to learn about how we measure our impact.
Stay turned for more information about our consultations. Our extended work with schools and workplaces helps ensure just and inclusive inter-professional, interpersonal, and intercultural relations. In our work consultations, we share holistic learning tools of conflict management, restorative justice practices, and mindfulness.
Our work has high impact. We reduce incidents of violence for the youth and families who are enrolled in our programs. We decisively uplift the organizations with whom we partner.
Your donations truly help save and change lives for peace, equality, and wellness.
We are a regional leader in the Middle Atlantic United States for peace, violence prevention, equality, holistic education, and community healing.
Become a Patron of the Wisdom Community and support us with recurring monthly donations for just the price of a cup of coffee at https://www.patreon.com/wisdomcommunity.
Or send your tax deductible donations in any denomination of U.S. currency via PayPal to @wisdomprojects Or click here to donate directly via PayPal.
Contact us on the form below to donate by regular mail.
We are deeply grateful for your support.
We are deeply grateful to our present and past individual and organizational supporters and funders, including the NoVo Foundation, William Jordan, Gunpowder Friends, the Miles White Beneficial Society, Youth As Resources, the Baltimore Development Corporation, Education First, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust.