Community: Calvert County, Maryland
Status: Fund Development
Give online (http://bit.ly/peacegivecalvert) or Text “Give” to 202-410-0372
Subject Areas of Focus: Environmental Degradation, Generational Leadership Gap, Homophobia, Housing Insecurity, Incivility, Poverty, Racism, Transphobia
Practical Peaceful Solutions: Community Organizing, Cooperative Volunteering, Dialogue Groups, Public Policy Advocacy, Safe Spaces, Systems Change, Youth Leadership Development, Youth Mentoring
Calvert County in southern Maryland continues to evolve from an area once primarily rural in character. Prior to white flight migration which began in the late 1960s, the African American population comprised nearly 50 percent of the county’s then-15,000 residents. As the county grew to its current population of roughly 90,000, African Americans found themselves quickly marginalized with the percentage of the population falling below 12 percent. 38,000 residents commute out of the county each day – primarily to the Washington, DC area.
These demographic and cultural shifts have not been without consequence. Tensions between subgroups of the population, such as longer-term and newer residents, have surfaced and are felt. Certainly not to be overlooked are the inequities experienced by the county’s African American residents and which can be traced back to the county’s participation in slavery, but also to the attitudes of White residents who have moved into the county from suburban areas.
In 2015 leaders of several churches and community organizations concluded that time had arrived to address squarely the deep hurts and divisions of too many Calvert County residents. These community leaders determined they could accomplish more together. So, they started #OurCommonCalvert.
In just four years since its founding #OurCommonCalvert has established itself as a proven leader, bringing Calvert community members together for learning, dialogue, and organizing action. Among its points of pride are the initiative’s youth leadership development activities and its substantive support to southern Maryland’s annual LGBTQ+ celebrations. And, the community leaders are accomplishing all this thus far without a formal structure, governing body, or staff.
#OurCommonCalvert has invited Peace Through Action USA to support their community building efforts by assigning a compensated national service participant to the project. The peace agent will help #OurCommonCalvert transition to a formal community-based organization and increase scale and reach of its community member engagement activities.
- Support community volunteers in organizing and delivering youth leadership development, with a continuing focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion; and in promoting interfaith dialogue and service activities intended to help heal rifts between segments of the population.
- Transition #OurCommonCalvert into a formal community-based organization.
Project Target Impacts
Peace Through Action USA will measure impact of the Calvert County, Maryland Community Peace Project by tracking and reporting the following:
- Number of youth leadership development, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and interfaith dialogue and service events held
- Number of attendees at organization events
- Changes in community member knowledge, attitudes, skills, or practices about people of diverse backgrounds resulting from attendance at organization events
- Organization established as a private corporation with public charity status
- Completed plan for maintaining and sustaining the organization
What You Can Do to Support the Calvert County, Maryland Community Peace Project
- Engage with the project on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ourcommoncalvertcounty/) and track our accomplishments and activities in Calvert County and elsewhere by subscribing to our e-news (http://bit.ly/peacactsignup).
- Give money to support the project online (http://bit.ly/peacegivecalvert), by texting “Give” to 202-410-0372, or by mailing a check to Peace Through Action USA, PO Box 73466, Washington DC 20056-3466.
- Volunteer your talent and time toward #OurCommonCalvert by sending a message through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ourcommoncalvertcounty/).
- Promote your support for the project and encourage your friends and family to join you. Suggested messages here (http://bit.ly/peaceactcalvertpromote).
- Uplift the spirits of people working toward peace in Calvert through prayer, meditation, and healing (http://bit.ly/peaceactuplift).
- Project Announcement (http://bit.ly/peaceactcalvertannounce)
- Project Information Sheet (http://bit.ly/peaceactcalvertinfo)
- Project Web Page (http://bit.ly/peaceactcalvert)
- Project Giving Page (http://bit.ly/peacegivecalvert)
- Project Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/ourcommoncalvertcounty/)
- Project Promotion Messages (http://bit.ly/peaceactcalvertpromote)
- Project Images (http://bit.ly/peaceactphotos)
- Project Videos (http://bit.ly/peaceactvideos)