Abigail Bresieth

Felecia McCray 

Meleny Thomas

Lou Packett

Dotie Page

Camille Givens Patterson

Cecilia Gonzalez

Jane Mayrer

Jane Buccheri

Kai Hams

Roxane Fiddler

Roger Wood

Laura Dykes

Shareen Adams

David McGill

Amanda Talbot

Drena Byrd

Mark Byrd

Brenda Rodriguez

Sheila Drummond Camm

Cece Monet

Kenah Lyons

Derrick McCorvey

Free Your Voice Presentation/Zero Waste Coalition

Meleny shared the Zero Waste Coalition development plan. Zero Waste coalition is a group of students, advocates, researchers, community members, and others concerned with zero waste. Zero waste is about protecting the environment from discharges/pollution/etc.


Based in Curtis Bay, and residents in South Baltimore led the initiative. It was adopted by the City Council in 2020, and is currently being enacted. Youth Leaders at Free Your Voice have been reaching out to community groups to share about the work that has been done and to build partnerships, especially to reduce reliance on incineration.


Know that much trash–especially dumped trash–can be reused to benefit the community. Trash is instead burned at the incinerator. 50% of what is burned at the incinerator is compostable, 30% could be recycled, but there is infrastructure needed to make that possible. Goal is zero waste.


Would like to see a three bin, same day collection system to starve the incinerator.


Have created a zero waste plan which calls for 2,000 good jobs, more reliable City services, and protection for health and the environment.


Have gained a commitment from Mayor Scott to prioritize zero waste plan implementation. Including fundraising, new DPW Director, attract new Zero Waste Infrastructure development


Have established the Zero Waste Coalition as a lead partner in implementation and accountability


Roger suggested looking into Retoona in Sweden and the Lower East Side Ecology Center.


Abigail asked about an action step that Committee members would take right now? Looking for a representative from any of the group to participate in the Zero Waste Coalition. Also interested in political pressure. 


Laura asked about issues with proper disposal for composting (plastic bags?) Yes, this will be a challenge–an education challenge


Lou asked about the impact of the incinerator on the economy in general? Incineration is highly subsidized–City is paying $10 million for running. Contract was prematurely re-signed because the incinerator threatened to sue the City. There is a lot of money behind existing systems but need to explore different options. 


Ms Dotie asked how the three trash can model would work when space is tight (ie, in public housing) or when trash is picked up in front? Meleny–some of it is a learning a curve, would have to train ourselves to get used to, won’t happen overnight. Single day pick up is designed to make it easy.


Laura asked about looking into separate trash-recycling-compost at the receiving end rather at people’s homes and asked about compost education? Have been several composting pilots that have been taking place at Farmer’s Markets and through the Baltimore Composting Collective. Are looking at an education model vs separating at the end point, but there will be sorting at the facilities but there can’t be too much cross-contamination 


Cecilia asked about the education plan and building awareness? Education will be through the coalition, building up the coalition, and engaging experts in the field and then sharing the education and expertise with the wider community.


For more information:


Community Schools Update

  • Charles Carroll Barrister: had 30 kids scheduled for in person schooling, have had 15. Currently in person learning is a trial and error space-keeping kids engaged, ensuring that there is no cross contamination. Working on spending down a grant from the Maryland Food Bank, working on getting the food pantry up and running again. Have completed action plan–focused on attendance, retention, and family engagement
  • Franklin Square: have about 30 students signed up for in person schooling, 15 have attended, looking for a source for durable headphones. Other elementary grades are returning the 15th, attendance incentives are pivoting to incentivizing the parents. Are in need of a dryer
  • Steuart Hill: new Community School Coordinator (Mark Byrd) have had 10 students for in person learning, having a food giveaway for students and families from 10am-2pm on Friday March 5th, are focusing on student enrollment this spring especially ESL students and students who are unhoused. Are working on creating a Community Space at the school–are going to begin painting on March 27th
  • Vivien T Thomas: been preparing for re-opening on the 15th. Have 29 students scheduled to return in person
  • Southwest Baltimore Charter School: have had a learning center for 16 kids that’s been open for the past couple of months. Not having a big in person push until April 12th, will only bring back k-3. Did have an interest in having kids back in person, but families are nervous about in person learning and the Covid-19 protocols 


Dotie asked about CSCs experience with students experiencing grief. Amanda: yes, students are lonely, their schedules are off. Have had students who have experienced loss–have a mental health team and a partnership with Roberta’s House. Roberta’s House is a partnership for many schools. 


Abigail: might be an opportunity for advocacy coming up in advocating for allocation of additional school funding. 


Lou asked if Vivien T was included in the United Way’s daycare center at the Excel Academy 


Felecia has moved to Detroit, after getting married, and so the SWP will be hiring a new Community Schools Program Manager. The position will be posted Friday or Monday, please refer anyone who might be interested to Elizabeth.


Youth Engagement Update

Young people and the Ruth Kirk Fellows will be meeting next week to discuss many of the specifics of the next steps–ideas for recruiting, ideas for outreach, ideas for the stipends. BCF has asked us to submit a grant proposal for stipends in May.


Talked about changing meeting time to potentially another day or to earlier in the day. Committee offered their availability–Abigail and Elizabeth will review


Racial Equity Update

SWP Board is reviewing 2 racial equity training proposals at the next Board of Directors meeting on March 16th. Will include additional components than the racial equity


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