Check out our victories from 2016!
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2016: A Year in Review

Welcome to 2017 and a new brand and image for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.  Our leadership team has devoted significant time and energy into re-imagining a more interactive website and brand image for our supporters, friends and allies.

Since our formation in 2010, LBS has been widely recognized as an emerging voice for grassroots leadership and political advocacy in Baltimore.  We are unique as the region’s only grassroots-driven policy think-tank specifically aimed at improving the conditions of Black people.

We're grateful that YOUR community based support has helped us evolve as a grassroots think-tank. Join me in celebrating our success by reading about our victories from 2016. Also, please consider investing in LBS so that we can continue to expand in 2017!

Thank you!

Adam J. Jackson
Chief Exective Officer
Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle

Quick Stats

8 Art & Culture projects and performances.

18 Community Conferences attended or Coalition efforts joined.

4 School Collaborations in Baltimore City Public Schools 

12 Lectures to college students and mid-career professionals.

10 Malcolm X Talks

8 Political Advocacy efforts

165 youth engaged in Leadership Development Training

College Student Action Week and our ongoing work and support of student organizers at Towson University, UMBC, Loyola, Goucher, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

2016 MD Legislative Session

This year we were able to successfully lobby for substantive changes to the MD Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights (LEOBR), along with a cadre of public safety reforms. This is a tremendous accomplishment, especially considering that this marks the first major reform of the law since it was enacted in 1974

Here is a quick summary of some of the changes to LEOBR (click here to read a full summary of the bill):
  • For an administrative hearing board, the bill authorizes the chief to appoint, as a nonvoting member, one member of the public who has received training by MPTSC on LEOBR and matters relating to police procedures.
  • Administrative hearings for police officers must be open to the public (unless the case details would harm the public).
  • Removes the requirement for notarization of a complaint against a law enforcement officer alleging excessive force and instead require that a complaint be signed by the complainant under the penalty of perjury.
  • Allows a complaint to come from an individual with firsthand knowledge obtained because the individual has a video recording of the incident that, to the best of the individual’s knowledge, is unaltered.
  • Extends, from 90 days to 366 days, the complaint filing deadline triggering the requirement that disciplinary action be undertaken by a law enforcement agency. 
While we were unable to mandate civilians on internal trial board statewide, the changes implemented included enabling language. In 2017, we will be actively lobbying the Baltimore City Council and Mayor to mandate civilian participation in trial boards. 

Malcolm X Talks

Our Malcolm X Talks have had a tremendous amount of community support since we started in 2015. These events are a monthly series of conversations, seminars and workshops that center on teaching the Baltimore community about the Black experience and using it as a resource for nation building in the 21st Century. 

These events have been a vital hub of community building for LBS. We have been fortunate to partner with several organizations and leaders, including: Dr. Lester Spence, Color of Change, Out 4 Justice and many more.  

Here is a full listing of the topics we covered in 2016:
  • Spokes of the Wheel: Creating A Pan-Afrikan Cooperative Coalition
  • Knocking the Hustle: An Evening with Dr. Lester Spence
  • The Invisibility of Black Women in Social Movements
  • A Year After the Uprising: Reflections from the Grassroots
  • Culture & Commerce
  • Community Conversation: 2016-2017 Grassroots Legislative Agenda” at Gilmore Recreation Center
  • Port Covington’s Future Impact on Baltimore’s Black Community
  • Surveillance Self-Defense 101 in Baltimore
  • Navigating the 2016 General Election” Texting While Black campaign
  • Organizing for Black Power Post-Election 2016
  • 3rd Annual Black Legislative Agenda Day: From the Baltimore Grassroots

ECLI 2016

This year, the Eddie Conway Liberation Institute (ECLI) welcomed thirteen high school students, four alum and former high school debaters, and experienced debate coaches and national champions to Towson University July 11th – July 31st, 2016.  

Students received over 50 hours of instructional time and research experience on various social justice and community topics.  Students visited historical landmarks and houses of worship in Baltimore; engaged in debate drills; explored African art, dance, and music; and co-hosted a block party with the Baltimore Algebra Project in the Sandtown-Winchester community. 40% of ECLI 2016 scholars were Baltimore City residents.  

100% of students self-reported either an improved sense of self and cultural identity or increased knowledge of the structural, political, and economic issues impacting African-descended peoples.

Youth Development

Fall 2015 / Spring 2016

Civic Engagement Training with Elevat8 (a program of Humanim) - as an Out-of-School Time enrichment activity for students of Collington Square Elementary School and William Pinderhughes Elementary School
  • A 5-month partnership
  • Approximately 50 students served
  • Over 40 hours of student engagement
  • Coordinated student field trip and tour of Annapolis
Summer 2016

Civic Engagement Training with Elevat8 Freedom School Summer program (a program of Humanim) – with Collington Square Elementary School, William Pinderhughes Elementary School, and Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School:
  • A 6-week partnership
  • Approximately 100 students served
  • Over 40 hours of student engagement
  • Coordinated student field trip, social action service project, and interactive civic engagement activity at Baltimore City Hall

Thank You For All of Your Support!

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