Thursday, December 3, 2020


We want to hear from you about high cost prescription drugs! 

 Join us for the final Community Forum of 2020 on Monday, December 7th at 7 p.m. 

Thanks to your great work and advocacy, Maryland continues to lead the nation in innovative approaches to prescription drug affordability. Despite being a year of many unforeseen challenges, in 2020 we saw the landmark Prescription Drug Affordability Board begin its lifesaving work, collaborated with states around the nation to replicate this legislation, and heard from Marylanders across the state about the impact of high cost prescription drugs. Though the year is coming to a close, there are still opportunities for you to get involved in prescription drug affordability efforts. Most importantly, the Board needs to hear from you! 

Our final community forum of 2020 will be hosted on Monday, December 7th at 7:00 p.m. in partnership with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Please join us for an opportunity to share your input on high cost prescription drugs and hear from federal, state, and local leaders working on this important issue. 

If you like to tell your story or share your feedback anonymously, please visit this website: Your input is critical to informing the Board's work! As always, this work would not be possible without your advocacy and the support of a broad, diverse coalition. 

If you have not already, please consider having your organization join the Prescription Drug Affordability Coalition today! With over 400 members, the coalition is the key to taking on Big Pharma and will be essential in overriding the Governor's veto of the Board's funding bill when the legislature returns to session in January. 

Thank you for your tireless work to make prescription drugs more affordable and ensure that all Marylanders have access to quality, affordable health care-- we can't wait to see what you'll accomplish in 2021! Share Your Story 

Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative 
2600 St. Paul Street | Baltimore, Maryland 21218 
(410) 235-9000 | 

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 Understanding Structural Racism in Nonprofit Environments

Interactive Virtual Workshop

         December 12th 2-5 p.m. 

Why is this important?: Racism is a powerful force that inhibits our progress toward justice, peace, and prosperity.

About this Event

Why is this important? Racism is a powerful force that inhibits our progress toward justice, peace, and prosperity. Despite decades of legal and social reform aimed at reducing inequity. Inequality continues to be a significant problem in all societies and most organizations. Subsequently, we have conversations around or about Institutional Racism without having a mutual understanding of what it is and now it operates in our environment. Because of this lack of knowledge we often unknowingly perpetuate harm. Having a shared understanding is the first step in dismantling institutional racism.


What is structural racism?

How is structural racism different from other forms of racism?

What is institutional power?

How does structural racism show up in nonprofit environments?


Establish a shared understanding of some commonly used, but commonly misunderstood terminology.

Explore how current organizational values either support or disrupt Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion.


You work with/ in diverse populations.

You are a nonprofit professional.

You work for an organization that provides services to populations with a different race, citizenship status, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender than you or the leadership of your organization.

You care about increasing access and opportunity for others on a meaningful level.

You sit on the board of a nonprofit organization that serve diverse populations.


I’m going to be honest and let you know that this workshop may not be for everybody. This is not a sit and listen only workshop where the speaker reads from the PowerPoint and you are able to passively learn and take notes. This is an interactive workshop that will require radical introspection. You'll be required to engage, create, and have conversations so that you will walk away with not only a deeper understanding of your institutional power and how to leverage it to counter structural racism.

This workshop is typically $75 per person. In an effort to increase access and reach more people, I’ve reduced the rate to just $45 per person.


Organizer: S. Rasheem

Organizer of Understanding Structural Racism in Nonprofit Environments

Rasheem is an Independent Scholar and Social Scientist whose scholarship encourages a critical examination of society and culture through the lens of race, gender, and class. Her educational background is interdisciplinary, and includes a Bachelors degree in Social Science, a minor in Sociology, a Masters’ in Nonprofit Management and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work. She has been a Principal Investigator on at least five different qualitative research initiatives and has spoken on the topic of equity at over 30 academic and professional conferences.

As an instructor, she has a commitment to helping students gain deeper insight into an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, and intersectional approach to the academic study of marginalized populations. Dr. Rasheem’s research practices epistemic justice through centralizing the experiential knowledge of marginalized populations through a qualitative research methodology. She also believes in the use of culturally relevant theoretical frameworks when studying various populations. Her work contributes to the growing body of literature at the intersection of race and gender. Her most recent scholarship includes:

Rasheem, S.M. Brunson, Jordan( 2017, November) #ShePersisted: The pursuit, persistence, & power of African American women in social work graduate programs at Historically Black Institutions (HBI), Journal of Social Work Education: The International Journal

Rasheem, S.M., Alleman, A. Mushonga, D. & Toney, D. Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2018, March) Mentor-shape: Mentoring Black Women in Doctoral Programs, Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning.



Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Redfin in 10 Cities Including Baltimore

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) has filed a federal complaint against the Redfin national real estate firm, alleging the company’s online listing services unlawfully favor white consumers and neighborhoods compared to their nonwhite counterparts in Baltimore and nine other cities.

The NFHA said that Redfin’s minimum home listing price guidelines violate the Fair Housing Act by denying service to customers in largely segregated communities: "Redfin redlines communities of color in this digital age by setting minimum home listing prices in each housing market on its website under which it will not offer any real estate brokerage services to buyers or sellers,” reads the complaint, adding that Redfin conducts much of its services online and has few in-person offices. “By disproportionately withholding its services to homebuyers and sellers in these communities, Redfin disincentivizes homebuying within these communities, reduces housing demand and values, and perpetuates residential segregation."

The NFHA complaint names Baltimore as one of 10 cities where Redfin is more likely to offer service in “Extremely White” ZIP codes (over 70% white) and less likely to list homes in “Extremely Non-White” ZIP codes (over 70% not white). The other cities named are Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Memphis, as well as Kansas City, Missouri; Newark, New Jersey; and Long Island, New York. 

The NFHA alleges that Redfin is over five times as likely to not offer services in Black neighborhoods in Baltimore, and more than six times as likely to offer its “Best Available Service” in white neighborhoods. The term “Best Available Service” refers to the most comprehensive level of service offered by the company, which connects buyers and sellers to Redfin agents and offers perks such as reduced listing commission fees and refunds.  

Redfin has denied the allegations.

Baltimore Sun
October 30, 2020

Monday, November 9, 2020

 New Book: 

Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All

by Martha S. Jones 

Friday, November 6, 2020


A just-released study from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) has found that there has been racial discrimination in the implementation of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which created the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). 

The PPP is a lending program that provides money, in a potential grant format, to small businesses to help them weather the economic effects of the pandemic. The majority of the loan needs to be allocated for employee salaries and then the remainder can be used for other business expenses like rent and loan payments.

The study involved matched-pair testing for requesting loans in Washington, D.C. It was found that there was racial discrimination in levels of encouragement in applying for a loan, the products offered, and the information provided by the bank staffer.

To correct this, the NCRC proposes:

1. Financial institutions should implement rigorous compliance programs that include matched-pair testing of their bank branches and review of their decision to deny a PPP loan to ensure that there is no disparate treatment or impact. 

2. The federal government can aid compliance efforts by ensuring that data related to small business lending is made public. The SBA should immediately release the business name and address for businesses that were able to access a PPP loan for less than $150,000 and the terms of those loans, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should fast track its efforts to implement the Small Business Data Collection provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1071, that requires lenders to disclose small business loan data. 

Without these measures, it is concluded that existing disparities will continue, hampering economic development in minority  communities.

Read the study:


Source: NCRC, November 6, 2020.

Monday, October 19, 2020


Please Report If a Voting Drop Box and/or Polling Location is not Accessible!
Unfortunately, there still are various public facilities and services that are not accessible. Thanks to the assistance of a Disability Rights Maryland (DRM) friend who identified a trashcan obstructing the path to a ballot drop-off box in Frederick County, DRM successfully had the the barrier removed to insure accessibility.

Help DRM identify inaccessible drop box and ballot locations by contacting our voter hotline by phone at 443-692-2492; 800-233-7201 ext. 2492; TTY 410-235-5387, or by email at

   And don't forget the DRM's 2020 Breaking Barriers Gala Awards Banquet on November 12, 2020 at 6:30-7:30 p.m. 

The Breaking Barriers Awards Gala is DRM's signature celebration where individuals, law firms and organizations that have demonstrated exceptional leadership, vision and achievement in safeguarding the legal rights of people with disabilities in Maryland are recognized and honored. Funds raised at the Gala will directly support DRM and expand their ability to provide legal assistance so that Marylanders with disabilities, regardless of income, age or race, can live full independent lives in the community.

At this event, the DRM will honor Floyd Hartley On Behalf Of CARS, Gayle Hafner Grassroots Advocacy Award; Wade Henderson, Judith Heumann Champion Of Justice Award; Judith E. Heumann, Presenter, Judith Heumann Champion Of Justice Award; and Andrew D. Levy, Lorraine Sheehan Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Source: Disability Rights Maryland's DRM Spotlight, October 2020.

Friday, October 16, 2020


National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Special Event

Redlining And Neighborhood Health
October 20, 12:00 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT

In this webinar, National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) staff and other advocates will discuss their new redlining and health report, major findings, and the effects of redlining today in Baltimore and Rochester, New York. There also will be a demonstration of the web application that allows you to examine the relationship between redlining and public health in more than 140 cities.

  • Jason Richardson, NCRC
  • Jad Edlebi, NCRC
  • Bruce Mitchell, PhD, NCRC
  • Marceline White, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
  • Ruhi Maker, Empire Justice Center
Register Now

Source: NCRC email, October 16, 2020.