I was recently asked on an application what song or mantra got me through this last year and immediately Tasha Cobbs’ gospel song “You Know My Name” came to mind. My grandmother, who endured all manner of hate and racism growing up in the Jim Crow South, had unshakeable faith in God despite the ugliness around her. Her personal relationship with God was a foundation for my faith. She taught me to rely on God for comfort and strength, and I always return to my roots in the Black Church to withstand storms. I’m humbled knowing that God knows me by name, cares for me personally, and protects me. But faith without works is dead – my empathy and altruism are faith in action. I am an instrument, and my nonprofit work isn’t about me. I advocate for my community as a reflection of the compassion and refuge God provides me in my suffering. Improvements may not immediately appear, but my job is to do the work, and trust God with the results.
Director, Unique Fabrics
Unique Fabrics started as a program to provide free meals and books to families in the McElderry Park neighborhood in East Baltimore. As we built relationships in the community we began to explore ways that we can serve the neighbors better. One of the parents expressed an interest in learning how to sew, and that led us on the journey we continue to this day.
While the program started as a sewing program for Women and Girls it has expanded to offer a wide range of workforce development, life skills, and entrepreneurship programs serving young people all across the city. One of the cornerstones of our program is our annual youth summer employment program in partnership with Baltimore City YouthWorks
What People Say
I have seen so much growth in the young people who have participated in these programs.G. Forte
After going through the Youth Voices Matter Summer Program, I was able to get a job right away.Youth Voices Matter, Youth Participant.
These programs are changing peoples lives