Inspiring Voices 2019 is CLIA’s annual luncheon/networking event celebrating our work and honoring people making positive change in our community!
This year is our fifth annual luncheon, and we are proud to spotlight the young people we serve, and people in our community whose talent, hardwork and dedication to excellence inspire all of us to follow their lead.They are truly inspirational, and we hope you will join us as we honor them.
The actual festivities begin at noon, but join us at 11:00 a.m. to network and to check out the items available at our silent auction.
We look forward to seeing you on May 14th!
Congratulations to Our 2019 Inspiring Voices Honorees
VALENCIA D CLAY KONDWANI FIDEL ALICIA WILSON
Valencia D. Clay is a writer and an 8th grade teacher at The Design School in Baltimore. To call her a teacher doesn’t begin to cover all the things that she is and that she does in the classroom. The activism she brings to teaching, her passion for knowledge and learning, and her ability to translate her experiences, her education, her self-awareness, and her natural talents to success in the classroom make her a force of nature. She advises educators to “teach from your heart”, which is exactly what she does. Her chronicles of her work in the classroom that she shares on social media have caught the attention of the likes of Halle Berry and Jada Pinkett-Smith. And her writing topics, which range from pedagogy to poetry, demonstrate just as much passion, awareness and talent as she does in the classroom.
Ms. Clay was born in Harlem U.S.A. and was raised by her grandmother in Westchester, New York. She always knew she wanted to teach from the time she was a young child, and majored in Elementary Education at Morgan State University. Learn more about her and her work at www.valenciadclay.com.
Kondwani Fidel and his poetry have become one and the same. The passion Fidel brings to his work has taken the Baltimore native around the globe to confront education reform, civil rights, and growing up in an underserved community. Fidel has captivated audiences at conferences, literary events, and has lectured and taught classes at the University of East London while touring in the United Kingdom.
Fidel’s lyrical poetry has been featured in The Washington Post, The Atlantic, CNN, The Root, The Independent, Mic, Baltimore Magazine, and Baltimore Sun. His viral essay, “How a Young Boy has Been Decaying in Baltimore Since Age 10: A Death Note”, cemented Fidel as an authority in his city. In 2018, The Baltimore Sun honored Fidel in its heralded ‘Best of Baltimore’ issue for his courage, innovative thinking, and leadership in local schools and communities.
Fidel is the author of his published collections, Hummingbirds in the Trenches (2018), and Raw Wounds (2017). Fidel’s work has been praised by literary and civil rights giants such as Ibram X. Kendi, Eve L. Ewing, and DeRay McKesson. Fidel is an M.F.A. candidate in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. Fidel was most recently been honored for his work with Baltimore’s Civil Rights Literary Award. Learn more about him and his work at www.kondwanifidel.com.
Alicia Wilson is the Senior Vice President of Impact Investments and Senior Legal Counsel to the Port Covington Development Team. Wilson is responsible for shaping, advancing and promoting the interests of the investors in the Port Covington Development Project by developing strategic initiatives that enhance its philanthropic and investment impact. She is also responsible for cultivating and building key stakeholder relationships and collaborative relationships regionally, nationally and internationally for the Port Covington Development Team.
During the 2016 Baltimore City Council legislative session, Wilson drafted key pieces of legislation and served as the principal negotiator of the two largest Community Benefit Agreements in the history of Baltimore associated with the passage of a $660 million public financing project. The negotiations of the community benefit agreements involved over 200 stakeholder groups representing tens of thousands of residents from across the City of Baltimore. Wilson now oversees a team charged with implementing the letter and spirit of the community benefits agreements focused on workforce development, supplier diversity, and inclusionary housing, and youth enrichment matters.
Wilson is actively involved in civic and charitable organizations. She currently serves as Chair of the CollegeBound Foundation, on the board of the Center for Urban Families, the University of Maryland Foundation at Baltimore, Associated Black Charities, the University of Maryland School of Law Board of Visitors, Baltimore Corps, the National Diverse Attorney Pipeline Program, and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Raquel Whiting Gilmer
Augusta Fells Savage Institute for Visual Arts High School
The Baltimore Ceasefire Movement
CEO, Baltimore Corps
Laurie Latuda Kinkel
Program Officer, Goldseker Foundation
Program Assistant, Youth Initiatives and Collaboration, Family League of Baltimore
Director of City Programs, Citizenship Law Related Education Program
Katie Allston, LCSW-C
Executive Director, Marian House
Anthony Ashton, Esq.
Partner, DLA Piper LLP
Director, The Choice Program at UMBC
Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper, Blue Water Baltimore
Laura Garcia, MS, FNP
Nurse Practitioner, Healthcare for the Homeless
Law Teacher, Reginald F. Lewis High School
President, Carroll Independent Fuel Company/Highs of Baltimore LLC
Randi Alper Pupkin
Founder and CEO, Art with a Heart
Secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services
Regional President of Wells Fargo Maryland Region
Project Connect at the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health
Co-Founder of Seawall Development
Partner, Abramoff Neuberger LLP
Program Director for the Girls Empowerment Mission (GEM), Living Classrooms Foundation
Charles “Choo” Smith
Founder, Choo Youth Empowerment
Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School