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
Laurie Bezold aka Polly Riddims, Managing Partner
Managing Partner Laurie Bezold (aka Polly Riddims) has helped to lead Fusion's growth for the last 16 years. From the organization's early facilitation work, Polly helped lead Fusion into the grassroots fiscal sponsorship work that we do today. Drawing on over 15 years of administrative, organizing, program implementation, project management, facilitation, and event planning experience with nonprofits and small businesses, Polly manages both the growth of our programs and Fusion's core organizational structure.
Strongheart Stone, Managing Partner
StrongHeart Stone serves Fusion as a key leader of our accounting team. Through a diverse set of skills and perspectives gained from experience in organizations ranging from Food-Coops to health clinics and schools, StrongHeart brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to the complex and creative accounting demands of a Fiscal Sponsor. She has been with Fusion since 1999 and has seen the organization grow from a fledgling operation, staying a prominent influence on the retention of our core values as we grow.
Keith Gavazzi, Senior Program Coordinator
As Senior Program Coordinator, Keith supports the growth of a portfolio of programs in Fusion's community of social change agents. Through collaboration and administrative support, his work enables programs to access the resources they need to realize their vision for bringing social justice programming to the Baltimore Community. 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 nearly 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.
Pauline Taylor, Program Coordinator
As a Program Coordinator Pauline uses her unique entrepreneurial insight, program development, grants management, community capacity building and independent consulting experiences to contribute to the important work of Fusion Partnerships.
She embodies over 30 years of direct experience, working collaboratively with community based organizations. Her overarching goal is to help groups and organizations build greater capacity, so they can better serve the needs of their targeted communities to achieve or exceed their program outcomes.
Yankuba Senghore, Program 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, Bookeeper/ Accounting Assistant
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, Project Coordinator
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, Administrative Project Assistant
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 Administrative Project Assistant.
CKIM, FUSION OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR
As Fusion Office Administrator, Eunbi "C Kim" serves our Baltimore grassroots partners as a liason who assists with program coordination and manages the clerical operations of the Fusion office. 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.
FuSion's Board of directors
Lisa Bleich; Board Chair, Managing Partner, Signal Fire Consultants
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
Francine Housier, HR Director, Blue Water Baltimore
Changa Onyango, Independent Consultant