28 DAYS OF BLACK FUTURES
By Cori Lucas,
Of the 338 homicides reported in Baltimore City in 2021, 294 of those victims were young men—over half of those young men were Black. To say that the city’s statistics of violence among Black people is alarming would be an understatement; Baltimore has lived in this state of emergency for over a decade. Where law enforcement is lacking and policymakers are disinterested, members of these plagued communities must foster a responsibility for each other and their homes to beget change from within. Baltimore Brothers Inc. is an organization that gathers Baltimore’s Black men (and women), old and young, together to have an open dialogue about the violence that frequents predominantly Black neighborhoods—and collaborate ways to combat it. Baltimore Brothers has operated successfully with the Mayor’s Office, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, and other organizations to construct anti-violence, conflict mediation and social/emotional development initiatives for youth across Baltimore.
Baltimore has lingered in this state of social disrepair for many years. Tensions in the city were never so high, however, as they were following the murder of Black Baltimore resident Freddie Gray by Baltimore law enforcement in 2015. As Baltimoreans announced their pain and outrage, Andrew Muhammad saw the community’s need for security and social reform. With resources and knowledge garnered from many years of youth and anti-violence advocacy, he established Baltimore Brothers Inc. that same year; a community-led effort to be this change.
Conflict mediation would be readily available to all residents and conflict intervention would be the work of all people
A fully-funded Baltimore Brothers would see that every family, community by community, is provided the basic necessities to live. Children, especially those living in low-income neighborhoods, would be properly instructed on “how to conduct themselves and navigate through the streets of Baltimore City,” and how to diffuse violent situations, refrain from harming others, and handle disagreements. Conflict mediation would be readily available to all residents and conflict intervention would be the work of all people. Through Baltimore Brothers’ training, mediation, and community empowerment, acts of violence would become obsolete, and “[Baltimore] would be safe for our children”.
Baltimore Brothers host a number of programs aimed at putting Baltimore’s Black residents on a brighter path and promoting anti-violence. At Career Launch meetings, they help participants plan and prepare for future career opportunities. Life Skills Development is a 16-week mentorship program that teaches the skills to maintain a healthy living. Their Manhood Training program “consists of units of inspirational, physical, social and manly disciplines”. Leadership Development prepares young men and women to step up as the next generation of community voices. They also offer Life Coaching where they assess one-on-one with you your circumstances, plan a path to success and walk with you toward your goals! To donate to Baltimore Brothers mission or read more about their community involvement, visit their page at cllctivly.org/listing/baltimore-brothers or follow them @baltimorebrothersinc.
Pictured: Father and daughter, Andrew and Andreka Muhammad