|dc.description.abstract||Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) is radically pressuring institutions of power to rebuild and support Baltimore’s families with livable-wage employment through their jobs movement, called Turnaround Tuesday. The organization has secured over 800 living-wage jobs for its participants, with a 2-year retention rate of 83% with partner employers.
I met BUILD 8 years ago when I left the classroom to organize in Baltimore. The organization helped found the Baltimore Education Coalition, which worked on the campaign to address dilapidated school facilities in the city. In 2012, the coalition elected me to cochair the Baltimore Education Coalition. We led the unification of 3,000 people, then-Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City Public Schools under the leadership of Dr. Andres Alonso, and three quarters of Maryland’s Legislature to secure $977,000,000 in funding to renovate and reconstruct school facilities for Baltimore’s 85,000 students. Right after the school construction win, BUILD’s organizing for jobs that pay living wages for people with legal system records started moving deeper into the beginnings of the movement that is now Turnaround Tuesday.
As a resident, I developed and created media content about the organization’s impact that served to educate and inspire funders, employers, and city officials to partner with BUILD’s Turnaround Tuesday. My storytelling centered on the inherent power, dignity, and agency of the people supported by Turnaround Tuesday. I sought to not use tactics like shock, guilt, pity, and anger to capture people’s attention and motivate them to donate.
I was interested in telling Turnaround Tuesday’s story with dignity and strength. I used Professor Emerita Dr. Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s portraiture methodology to discipline my approach to producing a four-episode audiodocumentary series, now officially hosted by Baltimore’s National Public Radio station, and a short visual about the jobs movement. To inspire viewers and listeners of the audiodocumentary and short visual to act and support Turnaround Tuesday, I leveraged Single Grain, a top digital marketing agency, as an out-of-education industry example for guidance. The agency’s marketing funnel framework illustrates how potential customers can go from awareness of a product to purchase of a product. The marketing funnel framework aligned the media I produced with Turnaround Tuesday’s communications strategy, leading up to the fifth-anniversary celebration of Turnaround Tuesday in December 2019.
Additionally, I led a team at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to organize and host a 2-day seminar of inspiration, planning, and strategy to develop a blueprint for training and retaining another 1,000 Baltimoreans in quality jobs. Ten key corporate and philanthropic leaders from Baltimore attended the Radcliffe seminar in January 2020. The purpose of this event was to build working partnerships between Turnaround Tuesday and the key leaders in order to increase funding support and employment opportunities for the organization.
Together, the audiodocumentary series and short visual were used during the Radcliffe seminar and Turnaround Tuesday’s fifth-anniversary celebration as media to engage potential funders, employers, and political leaders and further inspire them to become active supporters. As a result, the organization secured over $100,000 in donations within 4 weeks after the fifth-anniversary celebration. The key corporate and philanthropic leaders who attended the Radcliffe seminar committed to significant next steps with Turnaround Tuesday and Baltimoreans ready to get back into the labor force. To date, Turnaround Tuesday has received $496,000 in donations.||