Baltimore is a vibrant city, home to more than 600,000 people who want and need their city to be the best possible place to raise healthy, well-prepared children. Importantly, Baltimore is also home to scores of community leaders who are committed to their City and eager to be part of a transformational solution that benefits all of our children and young people.
Like many American cities, Baltimore has experienced a daunting combination of challenges during the past several decades, including population decline, deterioration of the economic base, loss of corporate headquarters, as well as increasing poverty and crime. The challenges facing Baltimore ‘s residents fall disproportionately on our children, who experience multiple threats to their health and well-being that severely constrain their opportunities and potential.
In the fall of 2012, foundation and business leaders throughout Baltimore began a new discussion around the idea of working together on behalf of our City ‘s children. The discussion focused on innovative ways the community could come together to support children’s health and education from birth through the time when they are college and/or career ready. This broad cradle-to-career focus is similar in intent to many collective impact strategies in cities across the United States. The scope of this effort is substantial. Baltimore City is responsible for the education of more than 85,000 students in grades K-12, approximately 10% of all public school students in Maryland. Today, more than 200 stakeholders–including the school district, higher education institutions, foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and community and faith leaders– are engaged to build a broad basis of support for our commitment to work together to benefit our children. This engagement lead to the creation of Baltimore’s Promise, a collaborative dedicated to improving outcomes for the City’s youth.
The mission of Baltimore ‘s Promise is to coordinate strategy, identify quality programs, support alignment activities, establish shared measures for meaningful results, build public will, and advance policy on behalf of Baltimore City’s youth.