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Philosophy

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Black people and organizations have created an expansive reservoir of intellectual and cultural resources.

We draw from these resources in the development and implementation of the various methodologies for our work.

This has profoundly impacted every component of our mission. The organizing philosophy of Ella Baker is the cornerstone of our practice in community organizing.

LBS does work in four primary areas:
policy advocacy
youth development
arts & culture
autonomous intellectual innovations

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Areas of Focus

Policy Advocacy


The model of “traditional” think tanks is one of intense number crunching, at the behest of special interests, used to produce memos that often do not shed light on issues relevant to the public.

LBS’ public policy and research efforts attempt to combine the rigor and tactical vision of Washington, DC-based think tanks with a unique focus on accessible communication and the ethical framework of Malcolm X.

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Youth Development

Our dedication to transformational change in the Black community is illuminated by our youth leadership development work.

The training we provide focuses on building healthy understandings of the character, integrity, and accountability required of scholars and creates a pipeline of Black intellectuals, artists, advocates, and professionals.

Our goal is to make youth and young adults more involved in community based work and activism.

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Arts and Culture

We pride ourselves on creating artistic and cultural projects and initiatives that speak directly to the social justice work that we are doing in Baltimore. This includes musical projects, poetry, events, and other iterations of creative expression.

In the spirit of the Black Arts Movement, our cultural work serves to translate the complexities of Black freedom struggle into more relatable messages and platforms to the masses of Black people.

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Autonomous Intellectual Innovations

Our innovations are an attempt to extend the legacy of independent Black spaces that have resisted the need to present intellectual ideas on terms that ensure white control and domination.

It is in the vein and ancestral spirit of intellectual titans such as John Henrik Clarke, Marimba Ani, and Amos Wilson that we employ autonomous intellectual innovations as a strategy for organizational sustainability and community empowerment.

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