Through collaborative action, including fiscal sponsorship, Fusion Partnerships works to be a catalyst for social justice and peace.
Our vision for baltimore
Fusion’s vision is a Baltimore region where all its citizens have equitable access to resources and opportunities.
Because of Fusion, a larger and more diverse pool of grassroots community leaders can now contribute and participate in solutions for social change. Through greater access to nonprofit and supportive organizational resources, Fusion is an inclusive solution that protects and nurtures small innovative organizations and initiatives.
Fusion provides a space for interaction, collaboration and a diversity of expressions. We provide a platform for grassroots leaders to amplify their voice, recognize and claim their value, and refine their vision.
Fusion was formed by a group of individuals with a common mission to bring people together across diverse perspectives and social divides to build unity and collaboration for social change. Early on after its inception in 1998, Fusion facilitated numerous educational and community workshops and events to help create bridges of understanding to develop individual and organizational capacity in addressing racial disparities and other social justice issues.
Through our facilitation and work in the community, we saw that many individual leaders and groups had great ideas and wanted to build effective programs but lacked access to the nonprofit and capacity building resources as did larger agencies and organizations. Starting in 2003, we began to offer fiscal sponsorship and capacity building support to grassroots community leaders working for social justice in Baltimore. As our fiscal sponsorship program continues to grow, we are able to provide support and opportunity for our programs to share ideas, resources, collaborate and build their capacity.
Fusion believes in social change that's driven by passion and not pedigree.
staff And Board
Lisa Bleich, Executive Director
Lisa Bleich, Interim Executive Director of Fusion Partnerships, has built her 20-year career based upon one of her core beliefs: authentic communication—centered on empathy and equity—creates strong and sustainable families, communities, and institutions that better serve our world.
A native Baltimorean, her work has spanned mediation, communication, and leadership roles across organizations within the education, community health, and public sectors. As the Managing Partner of her own firm Signal Fire Consulting, Lisa engages with companies, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations to assess their current barriers to effective communication with internal and external audiences, define the root causes of those problems, and build sustainable solutions for the clear, authentic communication needed to propel growth.
Her emphasis on collaboration, transparency, leadership, and effective action-based planning garnered clients like the Smithsonian Institutions, Baltimore City Public Schools, the City of Baltimore, Coldstream-Homestead- Montebello Neighborhood, Barclay-Midway-Old Goucher Coalition, University of Maryland and many more.
Lisa served as Board President for Fusion Partnerships for 7 years, and has previously served as Board President for Creative City Public Charter School is currently Board member for Communities Engaged & Advocating for Smoke-free Environment (CEASE) and is part of the facilitation and teaching team of the Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program (MEILP) a partnership between UB and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights.
Keith Gavazzi, Partner Engagment Coordinator
As Partner Engagement Coordinator, Keith directly supports the administrative needs of a portfolio of Fusion Partners. Keith came to Fusion first through interest in alternative organizational models through his studies in University of Baltimore's Community Studies and Civic Engagment undergraduate program. Building on his initial organizational study of Fusion, Keith has grown with Fusion for a decade and continues to focus on supporting not only the incubation of Fusion's partners, but the organizational development of Fusion's core structure.
CKIM, Partner Engagement Coordinator
As Partner Engagement Coordinator, CKim directly supports the administrative needs of a portfolio of Fusion Partners. They come to us with experience in horizontal leadership driven organizing as member of POC art platform 0Zone and a graduate of the Peace Studies program at Goucher College, consensus building with Red Emma's Cooperative, and organizing 300+ free community workshops with the Baltimore Free School and the North Avenue Knowledge Exchange.
Cheron Jones, Partner Engagement Coordinator
Cheron Jones, Partner Engagement Coordinator, is a Baltimore native with over twenty years of experience working in the life sciences.. In her career, she has worked for a number of research icons including the University of Maryland School of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Battelle Memorial Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and Life Technologies. Ms. Jones is an expert in DNA sequencing, genotyping, mutation screening, infectious disease testing and other biochemical laboratory techniques.
After years of bench research, Ms. Jones transitioned into lab management, then proceeded to move into program management. Within the University of Maryland’s (UMB) School of Medicine Institute for Global Health Division of Malaria Research, she managed the following programs: IGH Mali, IGH Malawi, IGH Myanmar, and UMB operations. At the UMB Institute for Genome Sciences she led the start-up of a multi-million dollar lab facility within The University of Maryland BioPark.
Ms. Jones earned her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Hood College in Maryland. She subsequently earned her MBA from the University of Maryland University College. Ms. Jones is committed to STEM education for women and minorities. As such, she has invested her time in Women In Bio, Girls and STEM, aboard member Maryland Academy of Technology and Health Sciences, a charter middle and high school in Baltimore City, and has co-chaired a program within the UMB President's Outreach Council.
Yankuba Senghore, Partner Engagement Coordinator
Yankuba Senghore (Yanks) is a professional community and youth development advocate. Yanks recently worked as a Baltimore Regional Site Director for an AmeriCorps Program in Baltimore. He’s currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at The University of Baltimore, College of Public Affairs. Yanks has accumulated more than half a decade experience in nonprofits -volunteer recruitment and management, administration, and teaching. In 2005 Yanks co-founded the Side by Side Organization The Gambia – a National Youth-Led Organization. He’s very passionate about education with special interest on community building and youth development. He loves community organizing, writing, reading and watch/playing soccer.
Lukah Callanan, Financial Organizer
Lukah provides foundational support to Fusion as the organization's bookkeeper. She merges a history of activism within the city with her accounting studies at the University of Baltimore to work with programs as they support and strengthen their communities.
Allison Duggan, Community Grants Organizer
Through previous collaborative experience with Baltimore United Viewfinders, the Walters Art Museum, East Baltimore artists, and the Bea Gaddy Family Center, and graduate work in MICAs MFA Community Arts Program, Allison brings a strong community arts background to her approach as a community organizer with Fusion. As Project Coordinator, Allison has worked closely with East Baltimore residents and community stakeholders to launch the Community InFusion Small Grants Program.
Tamika Bryant, Community Grants Program Coordinator
Tamika came to Fusion as a member of the Public Allies Program at The University of Maryland School of Social Work's Community Outreach Service (SWCOS) working closely with East Baltimore residents and community stakeholders to launch the Community InFusion Small Grants Program. Because of her excellent administrative and technology skills, and additional support she has offered Fusion, she is now working full-time at Fusion as our inFusion Community Grants Program Coordinator.
FuSion's Board of directors
Daniel Atzmon; Law Enforcement Diversion Coordinator, Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention
Dr. Fernando A. Wagner; Board Secretary, Professor, School of Social Work, University of Maryland
Marc Steiner, Founder and Director, Center for Emerging Media
Paula Young, KaBoom!
Denise Gantt, Director of Programming, Modell Lyric Performing Arts Center
Changa Onyango, Board Chair, Independent Consultant
StrongHeart Stone, Board Member