“I have travelled through education, social justice, arts, religious, CDFI, and transportation industries with one mission: To be a lighting rod for equitable & inclusive community development...
If I do this right, my life will be washed in the light I shine.”
- Dennis Maurice
“We must get to the other side of inequity in this life and I hope my work is one of the bridges that gets us closer to freedom, justice, equity, and honesty.”
Secured $50,000 in funding from Sanofi-Aventis to support 30 youth (96% people of color) to be trained as community mappers and diabetes awareness educators. The high school and college students were paid a livable wage to develop programming to educate Promise Zone communities in Philadelphia (particularly the Frankford section of the city that, at that time, had the nation’s 2nd highest poverty rate). They also worked with a community health agency to test more than 140 people for diabetes, in a community that is 64% Black and Hispanic and 28% White, which acknowledges disparity. They took all this information and presented it to Philadelphia’s City Council to shift their work toward policy changes.
Developed a hiring strategy to recruit applicants for temporary employment and internships from underrepresented communities at the Philadelphia International Airport. This hiring program included building relationships with HBCUs, Hispanic Serving Institutions, nonprofits that serve economically disinvested neighborhoods, and community colleges, which led to increasing the hiring of BIPOC communities by more than twenty-five percent. Moreover, these opportunities, while entry level, were assigned a livable wage of $12.20 per hour. This was valuable because traditionally interns are predominantly white and Asian, from Ivy League or top-tier schools, and/or hand picked by members of council, which excludes large populations of students from underrepresented communities. Moreover, we searched intentionally for graduate students from a larger community’s catchment.
I am a published author centering my writing on Black lives, the construct of race, gender and sexuality, community, and spiritual health. My latest book, Black Washed, is a collection of essays, poems, dreams, and letters addressed to black folks, which will be released this year. My first book, What My Colored Eyes See, was released in 2009 and is available through most online retailers.