Weave: The Social Fabric Project / The Aspen Institute

The Weaver Awards

Baltimore

Awardees standing on M&T Bank Field

Some people weave their communities together. They are the ones we all trust, the people we count on to get things done and to see the best in everyone. We call them Weavers and here’s our chance to recognize and celebrate the Weavers in Baltimore.

Congratulations to Baltimore’s 2021 Weaver Awardees!

Why an award?

The most important people in our communities are those who build trust and connect us. They may be the parent next door, the super-friendly high schooler,  the energetic retiree. They make us feel good about ourselves and each other. We created the Weaver Awards to recognize them.

From 100 applications, a selection committee of locals chose the 10 finalists to receive $7,000 each to complete a project that connects us and makes us feel we belong here. Meet our Awardees!

2021 awardees

Portrait of Aida

Aida Medina

of Highlandtown leads Gallery Church Baltimore, where she uses her bilingual skills to connect teen moms, newcomers and families in need to free childrens clothes, diapers and formula

Portrait of Ashley

Ashley Esposito

works for the State of Maryland and co-founded the Village of Violetville, Inc. to connect people and meet neighborhood needs from vaccinations to school supplies to beautification projects and community activities

Portrait of Audrey

Audrey Carter

of the Oliver neighborhood started the Team-up to Clean-up Project and will use the funds to beautify the community, offer youth stipends, and start a farmers’ market to address the fresh food shortage

Portrait of Danielle

Danielle Battle

of Cherry Hill founded RICH-Restoring Inner City Hope and will use the award for youth enrichment classes such as woodworking, STEM, conflict resolution, anti-bullying through improvisational comedy, mentoring and photography

Portrait of Shorty

Duane “Shorty” Davis

works throughout Baltimore on his project Good in the Hood, BBQ’ing to bring people together at family-friendly events so they can connect, share food and ideas

Portrait of Elijah Miles

Elijah Miles

works with Tendea Family in McElderry Park and is starting the year-round Tendea’s Servant Leaders Program for teens with a paid summer learning institute

Geraldine Taylor
and Arica Gonzalez

of the Panway neighborhood work through the Urban Oasis, a community-created organization, and will use the award to support start-up grassroots projects in minority communities.

Portrait of Michele

Reverend Michele Ward

leads an association of block captains in the Greenmount West neighborhood and is launching the Lights On Greenmount West campaign to allow 140 homeowners to get solar-powered outdoor lighting for their stoops and back alleys and inspire informal outdoor community gathering

Portrait of Niamah

Naimah Sharif

works in Belair-Edison and West Baltimore through her nonprofit NLife, which creates programs and events to connect people to each other, their neighborhoods and communal celebration to promote social and physical wellness

Portrait of Rocky

Rocky Brown

leads the Ellwood Park Project, which aims to attract more homeowners to the neighborhood, and will use the award to rehabilitate the park pavilion, resurface the playground and expand sports camps and youth programs

Who chose them?

We are grateful to the community folks who had the tough job of picking our awardees:

Judeith James of the Alternative Approaches to Mental Health Crisis Center

Shantell L. Roberts of Touching Young Lives, Inc.

Ako Changa Onyango of AO Services, Inc.

Krystle Starvis of the Aspen Institute

Antonio Tabora of the Latino Economic Development Center

Hershawna Frison of the Aspen Institute

Brian Gerado of Business Volunteers Maryland

Tanya R. Dorsey of M&T Bank

Nneka Nnamdi of Fight Blight Baltimore

Jim Peterson of M&T Bank

Crickett Woloson of the Elbow Fund

Paul Taylor of the Mayor’s Office

Join the party

If you care about building social trust and community, we invite you to connect with others like you. The Weaver Awards are about more than grants. We host a national online weavers community and are starting a special group for Baltimore Weavers. You’ll be able to share your work and stories, get support, find resources and funding, learn skills, and meet partners to advance your weaving.

Sign up now:

You can also just follow the progress of the awardees and learn about future rounds of Weaver Awards.

If you want to celebrate Baltimore’s 2021 Weaver Awardees, here are some graphics and ideas for posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Awards, want to become a community outreach partner, or have any problems using this website, let us know. And if you want to learn more about Weavers across the US, visit weareweavers.org.

Copyright © 2021. Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project. All rights reserved.