Shelley has lived and worked all over the globe. She moved to Baltimore in 2015 after spending 20 years in Seattle where she was a union carpenter for 13 years. She also managed her own construction business, and has bought and sold several houses – renovating each and every one. After attending law school as a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law, Shelley decided to put her skills as a carpenter and her passion for economic and reproductive justice together by using her degree and particular skill set to begin Black Women Build – Baltimore.
Tonika grew up in Minneapolis, MN. and earned her Bachelors degree in Russian Language. Her desire to live simply and help others led her to Baltimore to participate in Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Since then, she has worked as a freelance photographer, and taught both GED and yoga classes. In 2014, Tonika completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India and returned to become a manager at Baltimore Yoga Village. In her free time, Tonika enjoys traveling, spending time with family and since Covid, apparently, baking!
Mehret was born in Ethiopia and lived in a few other places before moving to Silver Spring, MD, where she spent her young adult years. Living in close proximity to Washington, DC, she was exposed to a diverse cultural environment which shaped her interests in the arts. She attended school for art history and African American studies before moving to Baltimore. She expresses herself artistically through film photography, fashion design, and pattern drafting. In her spare time, she enjoys making jewelry, going on long walks/bike rides and hopes to take on pottery.
Dena Fisher is a filmmaker, documentarian, licensed clinical social worker, social justice advocate, mother of two sons, and native Baltimorean. Her roots run deep here. She finds Black Women Build – Baltimore’s mission very personal to her, and feels honored to be serving on the team in a supportive capacity. Dena believes in the spirit of community. She is committed to doing her part to build and restore it, so that we can rely on each other during times that matter most.
Arman grew up in a big DIY family, learning everything from sewing to roofing along the way. After moving to Baltimore nine years ago he quickly found a home at the Station North Tool Library. There he was able to combine his teaching background with his construction skills to share his knowledge through workforce development and a host of home improvement classes. Arman transitioned into contracting after retiring from the Tool Library but is excited to be returning to mission driven work. Building your own home is as DIY as it gets, so Arman is honored and excited to be working with BWBB.
Nelly, a Baltimore native, is a multi generational carpenter who has lived in this industry since birth, honing his skills as a contractor since his mid-teens. Accepted into MICA for photography, Nelly eventually left college to see his father into retirement and founded his own company, 4th Generation Restoration. This opportunity, to share knowledge and experience to improve the city and the lives of the people in the city, is something that Nelly has been seeking for years. Privately, Nelly is a hobbyist: machinist & rapid prototyper, coder, architect. He enjoys researching electrical, mechanical, and structural engineering in his spare time as well as 3D art.
Samara was born and raised in Grenada. She went to T.A. Marryshow to study building technology. Her father was a contractor and she took an interest in learning how to build from him. She recently moved to Baltimore and is looking forward to working with BWBB, fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a carpenter. In her free time, she likes to sew, crochet, and spend time with her kids.
Tekia Bradley, a Baltimore native born and raised in the Cherry Hill community. She has lived in various parts of Baltimore since then. Because of her strong sense of community, she aspires to inspire others to overcome obstacles that may seem impossible by sharing her own personal struggles turned successes. Her overall goal is to gain knowledge on how to better serve communities, become an advocate and create a positive impact of change for the future of her city.
Dominique Stewart, a Baltimore native, feels honored to be a part of such a great project. She is a self-identified teamplayer who is honest and respectful. She is a hard working, dedicated woman ready to accomplish one of her long term goals in life — owning a home — and BWBB is helping her reach that goal. She is a determined individual who believes she works hardest under pressure.
Surrounded by a nurturing village, Shauna was raised by her hardworking single mother on the south side of Chicago. She matriculated through undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois while working part-time to finance her education, eventually earning a degree in Marketing. Shauna eagerly participated in several mentorship programs during undergrad, and recognizes the advantages she gained when her hard work met opportunity — advantages she would not have gained without exposure to such programs and the people involved with them. She then began her career in the pharmaceutical industry, where Shauna took on various roles from sales representative to her current role in oncology clinical development. Shauna sees Black Women Build – Baltimore as an opportunity to empower other women with the tools and life skills needed to gain independence and freedom.
Kathleen was born and raised in Baltimore. She is a proud graduate of the Baltimore City Public School system and current resident of Druid Heights. Homeownership and community advocacy is in her blood. Her great grandmother, Lillie May Carroll Jackson, was a real estate entrepreneur in West Baltimore and civil rights leader. Kathleen has over 16 years of real estate experience. She has managed a $400 million real estate portfolio for Fannie Mae and renovated properties in Baltimore and Miami. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Nova Southeastern University. She is an active real estate agent in Maryland. Kathleen enjoys cruising through West Baltimore neighborhoods and marveling in its astonishing history and architecture.
Charrise grew up a military brat – born on a Navy base in Virginia. As a child, she always had big dreams and wanted to be a lawyer. She eventually obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, becoming the first person in her family to graduate college. After graduation, she remained in Baltimore for about 5 years, and began her professional career marketing and leasing commercial real estate in the Mid-Atlantic region. Then in 2010, she took a leap, and attended law school at the University of Miami School of Law on a Dean’s scholarship. Since then, Charrise has been practicing law as a civil litigator in Washington D.C. She enjoys traveling with her wife, loving on animals, and interior design.
bio coming soon!
Quanshay is a native Baltimorean and recent first-time homeowner through her involvement with Black Women Build Baltimore. She has a love for connection and actively engages in opportunities that celebrate the strength of her newfound community. Currently, Quanshay is pursuing an MSW. She hopes to use her clinical skills to address trauma in Black Communities and mobilize citizens for action.
Molly McCullagh was raised by a mother who renovated their family’s home from top to bottom, after work and on the weekends. Since leaving Ann Arbor, Molly lived in Detroit and Boston before settling in Baltimore, where she is following her mother’s example and renovating her own home, with the support of great women contractors and Baltimore’s DIY community. Professionally, Molly manages neighborhood revitalization projects at the Southeast Community Development Corporation, overseeing the fundraising and implementation of nearly $1 million in public space improvements. Additionally, Molly is the park manager of the Sisson Street Community Park, a half-acre green space in Remington that she has worked with neighbors and volunteers to develop from a vacant lot. She holds Master’s degrees in Urban Planning and Food Policy from Tufts University.
Jay Orr, AIA, LEED AP
An architect with ARQ Architects for the past 20 years, Jay has worked on numerous renovation and new construction projects for institutional, non-profit and private organizations throughout the United States. He has been director of the Baltimore office of ARQ for 16 years and is active in volunteer community organizations throughout the city, especially in the Old Goucher neighborhood.
Mike Dominelli, Steadfast Engineering
Mike brings more than 20 years of professional experience in engineering and planning to the table. In addition to technical expertise, Mike offers a strong balance of skills in communication and consensus building in the development of plans, as well as efficiency and organization in their execution. His area of technical expertise centers on restoration work, focused on buildings, and extending to bridges and site structures.
Based in the Seattle area, Joy is a multi-talented freelancer who functions as the offsite design, marketing and IT departments for BWBB. When not at her desk, she can be found making things happen in the garden and hanging with the cats.
Creating community, knowledge, and wealth together.
Black Women Build-Baltimore is an equal employer. You do not need to identify as Black or a woman to apply but as a mission-based organization, we center Black women.