2020—forever known as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic—was a year of disruption and isolation, anxiety and insecurity, and, for too many of us, profound grief and loss. The COVID-19 pandemic was especially devastating for lower-income communities and communities of color. Compounding that trauma, the murder of George Floyd and other police-involved deaths highlighted how structural racism is embedded in our laws and everyday interactions, perpetuating the racial inequities that undergird so much of our lives, in Baltimore and beyond—from unequal access to healthy food, reliable health care, stable housing, to digital access, a living wage, and the safety of our bodies and communities.
For decades, the Abell Foundation has partnered with countless individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for Baltimoreans, particularly those who have been historically denied access to opportunity. For much of 2020, our partners have adapted, innovated, and advocated. They have continued to combat systemic racism and support our community in ways both simple and heroic.
This year’s Annual Report highlights programs that are creating a more digitally equitable Baltimore, reducing gun violence, decreasing racial disparities in chronic disease, supporting tenants facing eviction, helping Black entrepreneurs access capital and small-business loans, advancing medical innovation, and providing job training for graduates of Baltimore City Public Schools that will provide pathways to careers and higher education.
We are proud to share this overview of our work in 2020.