AmeriCorps Board of Directors Visits Baltimore Service Projects and Hosts Public Meeting
National service agency board members traveled to Baltimore with CEO to see the impact of service firsthand
WASHINGTON, DC— AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith and the AmeriCorps Board of Directors hosted a retreat and public board meeting on Monday, Feb. 27 and Tuesday, 28 to visit national service projects, meet with service participants and discuss agency priorities and initiatives.
On Monday, Feb. 27, Smith and board members visited Baltimore to discuss the role of national service and volunteerism in Maryland. They met with senior officials from Governor Wes Moore’s administration at Clifton Mansion, a 200+ year estate that the City of Baltimore inherited in 1870 that has been restored in part by the AmeriCorps members working through Civic Works, which now operates the building.
They then toured Civic Works sites across the city, meeting with AmeriCorps members and hearing from the community members they support and work alongside. These stops included a visit to a vacant lot being revitalized into a green space by AmeriCorps members and the Broadway East Community Association; meetings with AmeriCorps members serving as tutors and mentors at REACH! Partnership School; a visit to Real Food Farm, where AmeriCorps members grow fresh, healthy food and provide farming education; and a Youth Build site, where AmeriCorps members provide construction training and other professional development for at-risk youth. The board concluded its day in Baltimore with a community dialogue about building a strong pipeline of civic leaders and later participated in a town hall meeting with AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving across the state.
During the public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Smith provided a report on recent agency accomplishments, board member, and Alvin Warren provided an update from the oversight, governance and audit committee. Then board members participated in a virtual tour with AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with Cherry Health AmeriCorps, Illinois Recovery Corps, both Public Health AmeriCorps programs, West Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center RSVP Program, AmeriCorps NCCC and Oregon Health Authority AmeriCorps VISTA Partnerships Project to learn about their efforts to expand health access and equity. AmeriCorps Board Chair Catherine McLaughlin and members Alvin Warren, Fagan Harris, Leslie Bluhm, Lisette Nieves and Shirley Sagawa participated in the meeting.
“Service opens up doors to new possibilities,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Through service, people from all walks of life can have the opportunity to learn new skills, be exposed to career opportunities, and build connections that last a lifetime. I am grateful for the many ways our board supports the AmeriCorps team, members, and volunteers in creating pathways to hope and building a culture of service that can meet the urgent needs of local communities.”
“AmeriCorps makes service a uniting force,” said AmeriCorps Board Chair Catherine McLaughlin. “Instead of homing in on our differences, we need to see each other's humanity. It’s hard to hate someone when you’re kneeling side-by-side with fingers full of dirt planting healthy food for your community.”
The board of directors sets policies and direction for AmeriCorps and oversees the performance of the Chief Executive Officer. The public meeting can be viewed on AmeriCorps YouTube channel.