About Us

Our Mission: Black Women Build-Baltimore promotes social and economic freedom for black women in Baltimore through our home ownership initiative that provides trades-related training, comprehensive life-skills support, and a guided opportunity for home ownership.

About Us

Our Mission: Black Women Build-Baltimore promotes social and economic freedom for black women in Baltimore through our home ownership initiative that provides trades-related training, comprehensive life-skills support, and a guided opportunity for home ownership.

Black Women Build-Baltimore was founded in 2017 by Shelley Halstead who believes that for black women to build intergenerational wealth, with the inherent security and prosperity it can generate, they must also learn the skills necessary to maintain that wealth. Home ownership and the ability to maintain that asset is one way this can be achieved.

Shelley founded Black Women Build-Baltimore with a strong belief in the power of knowledge, skills and opportunity to shape a woman’s life. She is passionate about creating opportunities for black women to thrive. Using an intersectional framework Black Women Build-Baltimore offers its holistic training program to capable women who are ready for change, and would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Black Women Build-Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Leadership Team | Shelley Halstead Bio

Black Women Build-Baltimore was founded in 2017 by Shelley Halstead who believes that for black women to build intergenerational wealth, with the inherent security and prosperity it can generate, they must also learn the skills necessary to maintain that wealth. Home ownership and the ability to maintain that asset is one way this can be achieved.

Shelley founded Black Women Build-Baltimore with a strong belief in the power of knowledge, skills and opportunity to shape a woman’s life. She is passionate about creating opportunities for black women to thrive. Using an intersectional framework Black Women Build-Baltimore offers its holistic training program to capable women who are ready for change, and would not otherwise have the opportunity.

Black Women Build-Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Leadership Team | Shelley Halstead Bio

Intersectionality defined:

The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality to help describe the way inequalities persist, how categories of identity like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.

Intersectionality defined:

The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups. Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality to help describe the way inequalities persist, how categories of identity like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.

Black Women Build-Baltimore
Our Values

That black women deserve to be treated with dignity for their inherent worth as human beings.

Black Women Build-Baltimore
Our Methods

We understand that oppression is experienced at the intersection of identities, conditions, systems, policies, and practices; therefore, we address barriers that impact the ability of black women to thrive.

Black Women Build-Baltimore
Our Goals

To bring home ownership to black women in Baltimore. To train women in trades-related skills through home renovation. To create wealth and build community by dismantling the barriers that work against our ability to thrive.

The intersectional framework of our program has 3 distinct parts

The intersectional framework of our program has 3 distinct parts
01
Training
Training black women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing by rehabilitating vacant and deteriorated houses. We believe that training women in trades-related work not only provides a tangible set of skills to be used on other jobs and in the home but allows women to make two to three times more in wages than traditionally female-centered jobs.
02
Support
We understand that gender, race, and poverty affect women of color differently from other groups. In tandem with the trades-based skill training, we also work with partner organizations to provide life-based skill support in financial literacy, counseling, and nutrition.
03
Home Ownership Opportunity
Owning a home is a big deal and we want to make sure that the financial foundation of the woman buying the home AND the physical foundation of the house are both sound. Integral to the program and being able to buy the home upon completion, the participants will be expected to be or to become financially literate and fiscally responsible. To that end, we are partnering with the nonprofit, Neighborhood Housing Services, who will not only be supporting our participants in financial skills-training, but servicing the home loans for them.
01
Training
Training black women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing by rehabilitating vacant and deteriorated houses. We believe that training women in trades-related work not only provides a tangible set of skills to be used on other jobs and in the home but allows women to make two to three times more in wages than traditionally female-centered jobs.
02
Support
We understand that gender, race, and poverty affect women of color differently from other groups. In tandem with the trades-based skill training, we also work with partner organizations to provide life-based skill support in financial literacy, counseling, and nutrition.
03
Home Ownership Opportunity
Owning a home is a big deal and we want to make sure that the financial foundation of the woman buying the home AND the physical foundation of the house are both sound. Integral to the program and being able to buy the home upon completion, the participants will be expected to be or to become financially literate and fiscally responsible. To that end, we are partnering with the nonprofit, Neighborhood Housing Services, who will not only be supporting our participants in financial skills-training, but servicing the home loans for them.

The Need

Instead of focusing on poor people or black people or women as a mass, we focus on the individual black woman and approach the problem from an intersectional framework. The articles and reports that track the need we are striving to address are many, below is small sample for additional reading.

The Need

Instead of focusing on poor people or black people or women as a mass, we focus on the individual black woman and approach the problem from an intersectional framework. The articles and reports that track the need we are striving to address are many, below is small sample for additional reading.

The Nation

The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today

Joshua Holland, The Nation

read article 

‘Lifting as We Climb’ is a report released almost 10 years ago by Insight Center for Community Economic Development that found black women’s median wealth ranged between $0-$100

Insight Center for Community Economic Development logo

 

read PDF
36 pages

Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Insight Center for Community Economic Development

‘Women, Race & Wealth’ a 2017 report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Insight Center for Community Economic Development found that black women still fall behind in every category of wealth accumulation. While income is mainly used for daily necessities, wealth constitutes resources that improve life chances.

read PDF
4 pages

2017 Neighborhood Health Profile Upton/Druid Heights from Baltimore City Health Department
Baltimore City Health Department logo

 

read PDF
38 pages

ProsperityNow-logo-vertical-rgb-300x140

The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore 2017
The Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED developed this profile to better understand how racial economic inequality affects Baltimore. This profile is also one of the first steps taken under the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color project, funded by JPMorgan Chase. This project aims to advance best practices and strengthen resources for nonprofits of color.

jpmorgan-chase-CFED logos

 

Data represented here is courtesy of Prosperity Now. Full data set and additional infographics can be found in the full Report.

MEDIAN INCOME

The average White household makes nearly

2x

the income of the average Black household

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

The unemployment rate of workers of color in Baltimore is

3x

the rate for White workers

ZERO NET WORTH

1/3

of households of color in
Baltimore have zero net worth

Economic inequality has expanded over the past decade, shutting the windows of opportunity for millions of Americans. In urban centers, this growing inequality has manifested through gentrification and concentrated poverty in communities of color.

Though Baltimore bills itself as a city of the future, the economic plight of many of its residents suggest a struggle to break free of the past. Indeed, historical policies designed to “quarantine blacks,” as Baltimore’s mayor put it in 1911, have contributed to a city in which one’s race is a dominant determinant of one’s overall life outcomes.1

BALTIMORE POPULATION

1 Economic Policy Institute: ‘From Ferguson to Baltimore: The Fruits of Government-Sponsored Segregation’ http://www.epi.org/blog//from-ferguson-to-baltimore-the-fruits-of-government-sponsored-segregation/

The Nation

The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today

Joshua Holland, The Nation

read article 

‘Lifting as We Climb’ is a report released almost 10 years ago by Insight Center for Community Economic Development that found black women’s median wealth ranged between $0-$100

Insight Center for Community Economic Development logo

 

read PDF
36 pages

Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Insight Center for Community Economic Development

‘Women, Race & Wealth’ a 2017 report from the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity and Insight Center for Community Economic Development found that black women still fall behind in every category of wealth accumulation. While income is mainly used for daily necessities, wealth constitutes resources that improve life chances.

read PDF
4 pages

2017 Neighborhood Health Profile Upton/Druid Heights from Baltimore City Health Department
Baltimore City Health Department logo

 

read PDF
38 pages

ProsperityNow-logo-vertical-rgb-300x140

The Racial Wealth Divide in Baltimore 2017
The Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at CFED developed this profile to better understand how racial economic inequality affects Baltimore. This profile is also one of the first steps taken under the Building High Impact Nonprofits of Color project, funded by JPMorgan Chase. This project aims to advance best practices and strengthen resources for nonprofits of color.

jpmorgan-chase-CFED logos

 

Data represented here is courtesy of Prosperity Now. Full data set and additional infographics can be found in the full Report.

MEDIAN INCOME

The average White household makes nearly

2x

the income of the average Black household

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

The unemployment rate of workers of color in Baltimore is

3x

the rate for White workers

ZERO NET WORTH

1/3

of households of color in
Baltimore have zero net worth

Economic inequality has expanded over the past decade, shutting the windows of opportunity for millions of Americans. In urban centers, this growing inequality has manifested through gentrification and concentrated poverty in communities of color.

Though Baltimore bills itself as a city of the future, the economic plight of many of its residents suggest a struggle to break free of the past. Indeed, historical policies designed to “quarantine blacks,” as Baltimore’s mayor put it in 1911, have contributed to a city in which one’s race is a dominant determinant of one’s overall life outcomes.1

BALTIMORE POPULATION

1 Economic Policy Institute: ‘From Ferguson to Baltimore: The Fruits of Government-Sponsored Segregation’ http://www.epi.org/blog//from-ferguson-to-baltimore-the-fruits-of-government-sponsored-segregation/

Black Women Build – Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of the U.S. law. To claim a donation on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We’ll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

Black Women Build – Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of the U.S. law. To claim a donation on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record. We’ll send it to you upon successful completion of your donation.

Etting - Druid Heights
Etting - Druid Heights

Etting Street Project
PHASE ONE

We would like to thank all of our generous Donors and announce that we signed the contract for the Etting Street block! This is an exciting first step for Black Women Build–Baltimore. We hope to be on the ground with tools-in-hand by mid summer 2019! There are many ways you can contribute to our project, please visit the Get Involved page to learn more!

Etting Street Project
PHASE ONE

We would like to thank all of our generous Donors and announce that we signed the contract for the Etting Street block! This is an exciting first step for Black Women Build–Baltimore. We hope to be on the ground with tools-in-hand by mid summer 2019! There are many ways you can contribute to our project, please visit the Get Involved page to learn more!

Etting - Druid Heights
Etting - Druid Heights

Intern and Volunteer Opportunities

Our internship cycle lasts 3 months and is a great way to get better acquainted with the building trades. These internships can also be an avenue for additional opportunity with Black Women Build – Baltimore.

Please visit the Internship page to familiarize yourself with our mission and the specific positions available. Submit the application materials as directed, and if we think you might be a good fit, we will contact you to set up a phone/in-person interview.
Black Women Build – Baltimore is also looking for skilled and unskilled volunteers, and trade professionals to support our program!

Please visit our Get Involved page to learn more and apply.

We would love to hear from you.

Please allow 72 hours for email response

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This project is supported in part by:

Robert W. Deutsch

OSI Fellow 2018

dhcd logo - BWBB Sponsor

Black Women Build-Baltimore is committed to equal employment, participation, and volunteer opportunity without regard to age, ancestry, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, religious belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, political belief, or veteran status.

This project is supported in part by:

Robert W. Deutsch

OSI Fellow 2018

dhcd logo - BWBB Sponsor

Black Women Build-Baltimore is committed to equal employment, participation, and volunteer opportunity without regard to age, ancestry, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, religious belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, political belief, or veteran status.

This project is supported in part by:

Robert W. Deutsch

OSI Fellow 2018

dhcd logo - BWBB Sponsor

Black Women Build-Baltimore is committed to equal employment, participation, and volunteer opportunity without regard to age, ancestry, disability, national or ethnic origin, race, religious belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, political belief, or veteran status.