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The Leadership Exchange: Amplifying Black-Led Organizations and Impact with the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective

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Join us for our virtual speaker series featuring exciting and innovative nonprofit and social impact leaders. Speakers will share their diverse perspectives on a range of nonprofit, philanthropic, and civic sector challenges, as well as important leadership lessons. Next in our speaker series is the Baltimore Legacy Builders Collective - a coalition of three Black-led organizations with a shared goal of empowerment. 

Chelsea Brown (MPP ‘21), junior advisor, will lead a panel discussion with Tonee Lawson, founder, The Be.Org; Darren Rogers, founder, I Am Mentality; and Brittany Young, founder, B-360. During the panel, we will discuss reshaping the nonprofit sector, amplifying funding and partnerships, investing in Black-led organizations, developing community-based initiatives, and more.

The Collective is a unique partnership created to build capacity, sustainability and impact for their organizations. They are collaborating to provide 100+ hours of training, transferable skills, and empowerment to 1,300 youth and young adults in the greater Baltimore area annually. The Be.Org is centered around youth development, girl’s empowerment, and STEM education. I Am MENtality is focused on assisting male youth with developing their leadership capacity, by offering educational and experimental opportunities. B-360 is an organization that uses dirt bike culture to end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline, and build bridges in communities through STEM education and career opportunities. 


Tonee Lawson (The Be.Org) is a Washington, DC area native, but has made Baltimore her home since her college years at Towson University, where she graduated with a dual Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Bioinformatics (MB3); and Biology. She also has a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology. Tonee is the founder and executive director The Be. Org, a youth development nonprofit. Tonee was featured on “In Real Life” on the Quicksilva Show for her impact on the community; and recognized by the Daily Record as a Very Important Professional Under 40. She is a 2020 Baltimore Corps Elevation Awardee. She is a 2018-2019 Johns Hopkins University Social Innovation alum where she developed a virtual reality curriculum for social emotional learning in youth.

Darren Rogers (I Am Mentality) is an experienced community leader who is currently the Assistant Program Manager of Youth Support Services in the Mayor's Office of Children and Family Success. Since 2019 he has been a Baltimore Corps Elevation Awardee and is receiving developmental training to increase his leadership capacity in the area of program oversight and development. Through his continual efforts to develop himself and his organization he has received technical assistance from Maryland Mentor for two years as a part of the “QPP” Quality Program Partners initiative geared to improve the overall quality of mentoring programs in the United States.

Brittany Young (B-360) is a Baltimore native; she has programmed nuclear plants, developed medical devices, planned satellite explorations, but finds the most satisfaction in her roles in education, problem solving & service to her community. After the incarceration of her minor brother as an adult she became empowered to create solutions to funnel talent. She taught technology in Baltimore City Schools and was a project manager for the BCCC STEM Scholars program. Brittany is a 2020 TED Fellow, 40 Under 40, Leading Women of MD and more. Her work has been featured in Johns Hopkins, CBS, Forbes, Teen Vogue, Redbull, Toyota, NBC Sports, AfroPunk, Broccoli City and more.


Chelsea Brown is a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, focusing on Nonprofit Management and Leadership; she currently serves as Junior Advisor with The Collective. Chelsea has used her learnings through the real-life application as a philanthropy professional for more than 5 years with organizations including, The SEED School of Maryland, Educational Testing Service, The Young, Black and Giving Back Institute, Barber & Associates, LLC and more. She created “The Chelsea Brown Scholarship” in 2016 and became the youngest person to serve on Winthrop University Foundation’s Board of Directors. She has served as a William Randolph Hearst Fellow with the Aspen Institute's Philanthropy and Social Innovation; was named a 2019 Forbes Under 30 Scholar; and was the recipient of the Millard E. Tydings Regents Fellowship, one of the distinguished fellowships in the School of Public Policy and recently created the Dean's Internship Award, providing funding for students who work with Black-led nonprofits in Maryland area. 

More about the series

Each conversation will begin at 12pm and start with a 30 minute interview, which will be recorded (for UMD student professional development and coursework). When the interview concludes, the conversation will open up for you to interact with our guests and ask your own questions. On the day of the event, you will receive a calendar invitation with a link to the video conference.

For Media Inquiries:
Kaitlin Ahmad
Communications Manager, DGI
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