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Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Announces Recipients of the Inaugural Black History Month Community Leaders Awards Competition

Annapolis, MD – The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism announced the recipients of the inaugural Black History Month Community Leaders Awards during a ceremony held today in Maryland’s official museum of African American history, heritage, and culture – the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Introduced earlier this year by the Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Van Brooks, the awards celebrate Black History Month and recognize Maryland-based, African American-founded organizations that provide exceptional volunteer service to improve Maryland communities for all.

“We are fortunate to have a strong culture of service and volunteerism throughout Maryland,” said Van Brooks, Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. “With this new awards program, we are pleased to recognize the many African American leaders in our great state who dedicate countless hours and energy to serve our communities and change Maryland for the better.”

More than 100 nominations were submitted for the inaugural Black History Month Community Leaders Awards and 10 organizations were selected to receive the accolade. Selection was based on nominations received that described the highest degree of meaningful volunteer commitment and service, making a transformative impact in the community.

The following organizations were selected as recipients of the Black History Month Community Leaders Awards:

Better Way Outreach Ministries provides food, personal care items, and inspiration to approximately 300 families per week and over 1,200 individuals a month and hosts programs, including Thanksgiving Dinner for homeless individuals and the community, a Christmas event where more than 3,000 toys are given to underserved kids, and a welfare to work site with the Department of Social Services.

Carolyn E. Parker Foundation has developed several programs to address issues facing middle and high school students in St. Mary’s County, including the annual Men Make a Difference Day Leadership event, which educates and mentors young boys to create a vision, and Weekly Workshop Wednesday sessions that regularly instructs around 30 girls on topics like cyber bullying, self-defense, meditation, and college and career planning.

Generosity Global is a nonprofit organization that has used the power of generosity to provide meals to 25,000 homeless individuals, as well as hygiene and sanitation services to help take them from crisis to self-sufficiency.

Kappa Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. contributes over 15,000 hours of volunteer service a year through programs, including an annual college fair that has reached 20,000 students since 2006 and has provided $300,000 in scholarships and supplies.

Muslimat Al Nisaa is a grassroots organization that provides shelter for homeless Muslim women refugees and their children approximately 3,855 bed nights a year, in addition to education on domestic violence and food, school supplies, and health services to families, youth, and the elderly.

National Coalition of 100 Black Women seeks to promote gender equity, leadership development, and economic opportunity for Black women and girls. It has served over 1,000 students and parents with back-to-school items, Pack a Purse toiletries to teenage girls living in shelter, more than 1200 Thanksgiving baskets each year, and more.

SHABACH! Ministries, Inc. is the community services arm of First Baptist Church of Glenarden that seeks to empower youth, seniors, and families. In 2017 alone, nearly 8,000 volunteer hours supported programs including over 560,000 pounds of emergency food provided to those in need.

The Baltimore Ceasefire is a grassroots peace movement in Baltimore City that calls for all people not to commit a murder for 72 consecutive hours and has helped the city reach 11.5 consecutive days without a murder in February 2018.

The We Cancerve Movement, Inc. is an all-youth run nonprofit that has served over 4,000 homeless, sick, and foster children and provided $35,000 in in-kind donations to youth, families, foster homes, and hospitals.

Women Veterans United Committee, Inc. raises awareness about issues affecting women veterans to improve their quality of life and provide recognition for their service. With partner organizations, the organization provided more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service to support women veteran employment, wreath-laying for women veterans, annual Christmas parties for senior and homeless veterans, and more.

In addition to the program, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism is celebrating Black History Month by hosting a “Free Museum Tickets” program to thank the state’s volunteers and encourage education on African American history in Maryland. For information on how to request tickets, please visit the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism’s website:

To see photos from today’s event visit: