BUILD – Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development – is a broad-based, non-partisan, interfaith, multiracial community power organization rooted in Baltimore’s neighborhoods and congregations. BUILD is dedicated to making our city a better place for all Baltimoreans to live and thrive. For more than 35 years, BUILD has worked to improve housing, increase job opportunities, and rebuild schools and neighborhoods, among other issues. We are affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, a coalition of like-minded organizations in cities across the United States.
We are a not-for-profit organization composed of congregations, public schools and associations. We are interfaith, multiracial and strictly non-partisan. BUILD is supported by our member organizations and by business leaders, corporations, foundations, and individuals who believe in making Baltimore a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The secret to BUILD’s success lies in its commitment to identify and develop leaders in every community where BUILD works. We rely on a radical tactic: We meet people face-to-face and build relationships that help to re-knit the frayed social fabric of our life.
We don’t seek justice and social change for people, we seek change with people. We tackle big problems by breaking them down into issues that can be addressed. We build power by building community.
We win our biggest victories by listening to what is needed, finding like-minded people to work with us for change, and engaging leaders who can help us to achieve our goals.
In the 1980s, we fought bank redlining, developed the CollegeBound Foundation to send more city students to college, and built the first Nehemiah homes, affordable housing that helped to stabilize city neighborhoods.
In the 1990s, we won a Living Wage for many of Baltimore’s low-wage workers and kicked off a national movement with that win. We recognized a need for after-school programs and more parental involvement, so we created the Child First program, today an independent entity that serves 1,400 youth.
More recently, we’ve turned our attention to reinvigorating neighborhoods across the city, and we are deeply committed to giving the city’s youth a good future, with an emphasis on recreation centers, jobs, and an end to youth violence.