Wednesday, December 1st the Urban Health Institute celebrated the 2021 cohort of the Bunting Neighborhood Leadership Program graduation! Fellows were joined by family, friends, Bunting alumni, and instructors virtually to commemorate a job well done for completion of the year long program.
“Though this past year presented a few challenges as we worked together to adapt to a virtual learning experience in light of the pandemic and mourned the loss of our beloved Bishop Douglas Miles, a true mentor and leader among our Fellows, this cohort brought their “A game” each week and truly helped make this year incredibly special.” shared our director Dr. Lisa Cooper.
Fellows presented on lessons learned throughout the year. Many pointed to their growth since joining the program and noted that forming lasting relationships and partnerships with their fellow cohort was a highlight of their experience.
2019 Bunting Fellow, Denzell Walker, delivered powerful words of encouragement.
“It (Bunting program) really opened my eyes and allowed me to look at this work in Baltimore with a different lens and a different perspective. When I reflect on a program such as this and think of the overarching theme that governed my experience it was a theme of resilience and triumph.”
We are extremely proud of this cohort’s work in the community. Fellows have teamed up and supported one another in a number of initiatives, including, Walk with a Doc, a weekly event dedicated to eliminating barriers to health equity by providing community members with an opportunity to have questions answered by health professionals while fellowshipping and getting fit! Fellows Atiya Wells, Kadija Hart, Nicola Norman, and LaQuida Chauncey are leading the charge while representing their respective organizations and non-profits.
Bunting Neighborhood Leadership instructor and education program officer for the Baltimore Community Foundation, Billie Malcolm, left Fellows with this powerful message to carry forward in their work.
“This program is an investment, so you are indeed distinguished in the way you move […] you are exceptional […] we need you to be innovative and creative about how you move in this City.”
The Urban Health Institute would like to congratulate the 2021 cohort on a job well done and for pushing through challenges and adjustments in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a pleasure and honor working with each of them this past year. During this celebratory occasion we cherish the memory of a true champion of this program, Bishop Douglas Miles. May his teachings resonate in your heart and work throughout your journey.
Bunting Neighborhood Leadership instructor and author, Dr. Lawrence Brown, shared this about Bishop Miles legacy, “I want to leave you with the charge of Bishop Miles that he gave us while he walked with us. I think it’s found in one word which is organize. Bring people together, host gatherings in your communities, and build people power. When we organize, we can make move mountains, when we organize, we can change conditions, when we organize to address ongoing historical trauma we can create healing, inspire change, and make our beloved beautiful city healthy and whole.”