Headquartered in Baltimore City, Maryland, Wisdom Projects (officially, Wisdom Projects, Inc.) is a 12-year-old secular 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to building peace and ending inequality through community education and community healing.
We work in partnership with community centers, recreation centers, and schools within under-resourced urban neighborhoods to prevent, reduce, and eliminate incidents of violence and elevate justice and equality by building movements and organizing communities for peace, healing, justice, and holistic learning.
Our mission is to reimagine education and reimagine the world by enhancing the lives of youth and adults with peace-building, holistic education, intercultural understanding, and anti-oppressive, liberationist thought leadership.
Wisdom Projects has two divisions: the Chicago Wisdom Project (founded in 2010 and focused on thought leadership) and the Baltimore Wisdom Project (founded in 2013 and focused on direct community organizing). Wisdom Projects is the result of the 2019 merger of both divisions into one nonprofit organization.
Led by Upāsikā Miss tree turtle, our Co-Director, the Baltimore Wisdom Project empowers youth and families to become neighborhood peace advocates, ambassadors, and leaders. We do this by creating spaces and places where youth, families, and organizations may embrace healing arts like trauma-sensitivity, disability-awareness, restorative justice practices, conflict transformation, de-escalation, mindfulness (meditation, mindful movement, and mindful music), and social and emotional learning. For youth, we integrate these healing arts into daily out-of-school-time lessons (as well as school-time consultations) emphasizing STEM (life sciences, environmental justice, and engineering); justice studies; cultural studies; civic studies; and support groups. Nature and wilderness studies are a vital part of our curriculum. For adults, we offer community counseling, peer counseling, support groups, and wrap-around services to support community members as they contend with both interpersonal and systemic problems that impede peace, health, and wellness. We have also offered in-school restorative justice and mindfulness programs at institutions like Towson High School and the Friends School of Baltimore. The Baltimore Wisdom Project previously worked in partnership with community centers like the former Penn North Kids Safe Zone/Harambee Center in the West Baltimore neighborhood of Sandtown-Winchester and the 29th Street Community Center in the Greenmount East neighborhood of East Baltimore City. We continue to offer these services in daily, deep partnership with the McKim Center in East Baltimore City.
Led by Dr. Theodore Richards, the Chicago Wisdom Project currently focuses on holistic and anti-oppressive thought leadership by offering powerful insights about education, justice, and healing to international audiences. Curated and edited by Dr. Richards, our Co-Director, Wisdom Projects' multimedia publications—Reimagining Magazine and the Reimagining Podcast—showcase monthly articles, writing, imagery, conversations, and debates. Wisdom Projects, Inc. is grounded in the Wisdom Education movement. To learn more about this movement, please obtain and read Dr. Richards' book entitled Creatively Maladjusted: The Wisdom Education Movement Manifesto (Homebound Publications, 2013). The Chicago Wisdom Project previously held its own direct community organizing for peace and trained practitioners in a unique course for holistic educators on the South Side of Chicago. Dr. Richards teaches all over the world, including at the American University of Paris, Becker College, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Consultations and Trainings
While working in the field embedded in communities, we also offer consultations and trainings for schools and workplaces to help ensure that professional embrace just and inclusive inter-professional, interpersonal, and intercultural relations. We do this by sharing holistic learning tools for culturally responsive and culturally sensitive conflict management, restorative justice practices, and mindfulness specifically geared to achieving justice, equity, and inclusion.
We are a regional leader in neighborhood violence prevention and holistic learning. We view peacemaking as one of the highest expressions of holistic learning. Upāsikā Miss tree turtle defines holistic learning in the following manner:
"Holistic learning transforms the whole person and the whole community: physical, mental, and spiritual. 'Spiritual' refers to secular, ethical values advancing a higher good. (Reminder: Wisdom Projects is a secular, nonpartisan nonprofit organization.)"
Miss turtle goes on to say the following, "Holistic learning also refers to values and practices that do no harm by advancing peaceful, healthy living within us (in our bodies and minds), between us (in our social and emotional relationships), for us (meaning, all of us equitably and inclusively, and not just a few), and for our environments and the natural world."
She adds that, "Holistic learning views community members as the best assets in their own uplift. Thus, our holistic approach is deeply asset-driven and salutogenic. In other words, we do not view community members or communities as broken, deficit, or pathogenic. They are, by turns, fortunate and challenged by some of the same patterns of inequity and violence that plague much of American society. A key component of our holistic learning is contemplative practice. This practice realizes a life dedicated to calm, focus, awareness, self-care, and community-care in the present moment. This practice is the genesis of peacemaking."
Dr. Theodore Richards (he/him)
of Wisdom Projects, Inc.
Director (CEO) and Founder
of the Chicago Wisdom Project
Upāsikā Miss tree turtle (she/her)
Director (CEO) & Co-Founder
Baltimore Wisdom Project
of Wisdom Projects, Inc.
Please note: "tree turtle"
is Miss turtle's legal name
and Buddhist lay ordination name.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Upāsikā Miss tree turtle, President
Dr. Theodore Richards, Vice President
Mr. Todd Hoskins, Secretary
Ms. Mollie Dowling, Member
Ms. Arianne Richards, Treasurer
Ms. Sharon Williams, Member
Ms. Laura Orem, Member
Mr. Finn Schubert, Member
Click here to learn about our staff.
If you have cause for review, feel free to contact us using the form below on this web page for recent financials and EIN. Our fiscal year runs from September 1 through August 31. We complete an independent audit annually as well as a Form 990. We are registered with the states of Maryland and Illinois.
Click here for our Nondiscrimination Policy, Code of Conduct, Child Safety Policy, HIPAA/ FERPA Policy, and other organizational policies.
We are deeply grateful to our present and past individual and organizational supporters and funders, including the NoVo Foundation, William Jordan, Gunpowder Friends, the Miles White Beneficial Society, Youth As Resources, the Baltimore Development Corporation, Education First, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
Our work has high impact. We reduce incidents of violence for the youth and families who are enrolled in our programs. We decisively uplift the organizations with whom we partner.
Your donations truly help save and change lives for peace, equality, and wellness.
We are a regional leader in the Middle Atlantic United States for peace, violence prevention, equality, holistic education, and community healing.
Become a Patron of the Wisdom Community and support us with recurring monthly donations for just the price of a cup of coffee at https://www.patreon.com/wisdomcommunity.
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