Our mission is to support Baltimore City Public School teachers and school communities in building sustainable and just neighborhood schools. We accomplish our mission through school-based projects that deepen school relationships, and through policy and advocacy work to support school communities in coming up with their own solutions to historic inequities.
The project is affiliated with UMBC's Language Literacy and Culture Program. We are located in Baltimore City at 10 E. North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21202.
Contact us at Democracyproject@icloud.com
TDP’s work emerged in response to Baltimore City teachers who seek to connect what they do in the classroom to the issues that students and families grapple with. It also emerged from parents in low income communities feeling powerless to have an impact on the education of their children. There is strong consensus around the idea that decisions at the classroom, school and district level are currently so complex that few people feel they have a say, even when they care passionately about an issue or practice.
Fellowships: School-based projects
Teachers in partnership with parents, community members (and sometimes students) become TDP fellows and create a project that addresses a need they see. TDP staff assemble training, resources and materials needed to get the projects off the ground. We support fellows as they address dilemmas in their work, and help see the project through to a culminating event or product. We also seek to deepen school relationships, bridge culture gaps and organize for change. The work of the fellows tends to fall into three categories: building grassroots curriculum that gets shared with other teachers, growing restorative practices in sets of classrooms, and building democratic decision making bodies in schools.
Policy and Advocacy Work
Advocacy issues are selected by staff, fellows, and the TDP Policy Collaborative. Our stance is honed in response to research into national trends and exemplary initiatives in other cities, issues that emerge from fellows’ school-based projects, our overall mission, and current policy discussions in the city.
Baltimore Grassroots Curriculum
Baltimore Grassroots Curriculum acknowledges that school transformation cannot happen without a plan for changing curriculum and classroom culture in ways that give agency to students. The purpose of this curriculum is to provide resources to teachers who strive to make learning relevant to communities and to the lives of young people. The grassroots curriculum is designed to be adapted by teachers to fit different subject areas. It includes rich source materials of maps and articles as well as lesson plan ideas for a variety of subject areas and other resources for teachers. We welcome any teachers who want to pilot pieces of curriculum or develop your own pieces that will be shared with others to join us.