Stage: Not for profit
Number of employees: 6-15
Short URL: vator.co/the-intersection
Executive Director, The Intersection
The Intersection is a non-profit organization dedicated to shifting expectations for Baltimore’s young people. We seek to foster leadership among at-risk teens by training them to develop community-organizing skills. Through mentoring, and community-based projects, we work to transform their perceptions of themselves and their communities.
Zeke Cohen and Yasmene Mumby taught middle school social studies in Baltimore through Teach for America. Through their work, Zeke and Yasmene developed a shared belief that the classroom should not confine student learning. Zeke took a group of students to New Orleans to help rebuild homes following Hurricane Katrina. He was awarded the Lawrence Elizabeth Deale Prize for excellence as an educator.
Yasmene’s students hand crafted an Underground Railroad quilt that was displayed in Baltimore’s City Hall and cited by Mayor Rawlings-Blake and the City Council. Among various local television and print media, Yasmene’s work in the classroom has also been mentioned in the Washington Post and on CNN.
The Intersection has four stages: In the first stage students are introduced to the basic concepts of community organizing. Life-long organizers from throughout Baltimore lead workshops on communication, grassroots organizing and leadership development.
During the second stage students administer a needs assessment designed to gauge the needs of the surrounding community. Students will learn how to listen and analyze data.
Based on the results of the needs assessment, in the third stage, students design and implement three targeted projects. Projects might include a community garden, an archive of communal history, or a voter registration drive.
Finally, because we know that our students are at least one grade level behind in reading and math, upon completing the program each of our students is assigned an “academic mentor,” who helps set goals around college and career and then work backward to achieve them.
This summer The Intersection launched its pilot program. Students created a community garden outside of The Carmelo Anthony Rec Center in East Baltimore to address disparities in access to high quality foods. They also created a photo-journalism exhibition documenting environmental injustice in low-income neighborhoods. Finally, the young organizers registered 118 voters and then held a mayoral candidates forum where they held the candidates accountable on issues effecting low-income communities.
A scientific evaluation by an economist from Johns Hopkins University found that the program produced significant gains in student's self-esteem, self-efficacy, communication skills and political awareness. We are currently tracking our students growth in GPA and attendance.
Zeke Cohen- Executive Director, Baltimore Corps 2008.
Yasmene Mumby- Co-Executive Director, Baltimore Corps 2008.
Matt Stern- Co-Founder and Project Manager, Baltimore Corps 2008
Steven Stephenson- Director of art programming and web designer
Sulakshana Bhattacharya- Director of Photography
Rajani Gudlaveti- (MPP Johns Hopkins), Director of Strategy
Drew Zachary- (MPP Johns Hopkins) Director of Data-Collection and Management
Catalyna Byrd- Academic Mentoring Program Coordinator
Haley Panneton- Goucher College Intern
Sam Glickstein- Goucher College Intern
Scott Goldberg- Brown University Intern
Carey Borkowski PhD, Head of Project Evaluation