Criminal Justice Professor Joins New Class of Baltimore Community Fellows
Renita L. Seabrook, assistant professor in the University of Baltimore's School of Criminal Justice in the College of Public Affairs, has been named a 2014 Community Fellow by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore.
OSI-Baltimore launched the Community Fellowship program in 1998. The program looks for dynamic activists and social entrepreneurs who are interested in implementing projects that address problems in underserved communities in Baltimore City.
Seabrook was one of 11 selected to the 2014 class of Community Fellows. The new class of fellows brings the network of engaged leaders focused on effecting social change in Baltimore to 160.
Seabrook, a staunch believer in offender rehabilitation, will receive $60,000 over 18 months to establish Helping Others 2 Win (HO2W), an experiential learning environment that will give pre- and post-release adult female offenders the opportunity to benefit from evidenced-based programming to support their reentry into the community. HO2W will be an extension of Alternative Directions Inc., a Baltimore nonprofit that Seabrook has worked with since 2013 that helps men and women in prison and those leaving prison, become independent, responsible citizens.
"You don't find too many programs geared to women who are in prison, or released from prison, and most programs stereotype gender roles," Seabrook says on OSI's website. "Some women have been beaten down and have lost everything. Many lose their children and relationships; many have themselves experienced trauma or abuse."
Women in the HO2W program will tour a college campus and explore community college opportunities. The program will also focus on developing computer skills, creating a resume and learning how to complete job applications.
Since building self-esteem is particularly important for many of these women, Seabrook plans to have graduate assistants from the University of Baltimore's School of Public and International Affairs mentor the women. The mentoring component will foster respectable relationships between the program’s participants and the graduate assistants. The significance of HO2W aims to bridge the gap by investing in human capital, which allows participants to reach their full potential of success as they reenter in their communities and reunite with families.
Since its inception, the Baltimore Community Fellowships program has received support from OSI-Baltimore and several other foundations and individuals, including The Clayton Baker Trust, The Lois and Irving Blum Foundation Inc., the Cohen Opportunity Fund, The Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation, the John Meyerhoff and Lenel Srochi Meyerhoff Fund, the Moser Family Philanthropic Fund, The Osprey Foundation, the PNC Foundation, the Alison and Arnold Richman Fund, The Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Barbara K. and M. Sigmund Shapiro, and numerous individual donors.
This year's group of fellows includes artists, attorneys and community organizers. A six-person committee selected the fellows after extensive evaluation, including peer reviews, site visits and interviews.
Learn more about Prof. Seabrook and UB's College of Public Affairs.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.