The Abell Foundation is committed to improving the lives of underserved populations in Baltimore City by supporting innovative, results-oriented efforts to solve systemic social, economic, and environmental problems; providing research to better inform civic conversation about relevant issues; and investing in new businesses and technologies that have the potential to benefit society. Through our grantmaking, research, and investments, the Foundation aims to help break the cycle of poverty that wreaks havoc on the lives of so many of our fellow citizens.
By many measures, 2015 was a tough year for Baltimore. With record-setting levels of violence and images of unrest and poverty plastered across national and international media, Baltimoreans endured a collective blow. With new wounds — and very old scars — exposed to the world, we asked ourselves if we were indeed making progress in improving the quality of life of our poorest, most vulnerable citizens.
We are, of course, not where we want to be. But the citizens of Baltimore have demonstrated the creativity, collaboration, and grit that have sustained our city — and its people — for generations.
The work profiled in these pages illustrates those qualities: after-school academic leagues to inspire intellectual achievement; cross-sector partnerships to expand access to effective birth control and reduce unintended pregnancy; advocacy and direct service campaigns that support vulnerable homeowners and restore community stability; public-private ventures that expand access to clean energy and grow green jobs, and investments in entrepreneurs and small businesses that grow our neighborhoods and our city. These programs and partnerships offer vital reminders of our capacity to affect change.
We are proud to share this report of our activities in 2015.