The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. was held on
February 8th, 2022, via video conference.
Board Members in Attendance: Dion Cartwright, Chair; John Morris, Treasurer; Jacqueline
Caldwell, Secretary; Marcus Pollock; Larry Simmons, Jr.; Keiona Gorham; Lisa Molock; Catherine
Benton-Jones (joined at 7:03 p.m.); Kirsten Allen, Vice Chair (joined at 7:25 p.m.)
Board Members Absent: None.
The Meeting was called to order by the Chair, Dion Cartwright, at 6:36 p.m
Welcome & Review of the Agenda – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright welcomed the Board of Directors and public to this meeting of the Baltimore
Children and Youth Fund, Inc. (BCYF, Inc.).
Cartwright reminded the attendees of BCYF, Inc.’s purpose: to create new opportunities for the
city’s young people to learn, thrive and succeed. Cartwright also stated BCYF, Inc.’s status and
responsibility as a nonprofit organization stewarding public funds.
Cartwright shared the purpose of the meeting, to welcome the new Board of Directors members
and BCYF, Inc. President, select Board officers, and update on BCYF, Inc.’s finances,
employment policies, and the hiring process for the first BCYF, Inc. executive team and staff.
She outlined the following items of the meeting agenda: a review of the previous Board meeting
minutes, a review of the highlights of 2021, nominations and voting to select Board officers, an
overview of the Board committees, a treasurer’s report and an employment policy and hiring
Meeting Minutes from December 15th, 2021, Board Meeting – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the
December 15, 2021, meeting of the Transition Board. Cartwright asked if there were any
amendments or comments on the minutes, and there were none.
Caldwell moved for approval of the minutes. Morris seconded the motion. The December 15,
2021, BCYF, Inc. Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved by all Transition Board
members in attendance. New members of the Board of Directors, who were not present at the
December 15th, 2021, meeting, abstained from the vote.
Review of 2021 –– Kera Ritter, Transition Advisor
Ritter shared a presentation compiling the highlights of Baltimore Children and Youth Fund,
Inc.’s (BCYF, Inc.) work in 2021, through the close of the organization’s Transition Period.
Topics included: systems and framework development, policies (including HR, finance,
communications, and conflict of interest policies), talent management and hiring, the 2022
Board of Directors selection process, The Avis Ransom Institute for youth leadership,
organizational processes development and implementation, community engagement
programming, and strategic investments.
Ritter emphasized the development of BCYF, Inc.’s racial equity framework; evaluation and
learning framework, definitions, logic model; youth development philosophy; strategic
investments strategy; grants management system; hiring and benefits management systems;
financial management system; and communications infrastructure. The development and work
during the Transition Period will inform and guide the policies and procedures of the
organization into the future.
Introduction of Inaugural BCYF, Inc. President – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair; and Alysia Lee, President
Cartwright introduced Alysia Lee, BCYF, Inc.’s inaugural president. She shared Lee’s
background with the group:
A Baltimore native, Lee joins BCYF, Inc. from the Maryland State Department of Education
where she served as an education program supervisor for Fine Arts Education. In that role, Lee
supported Maryland’s arts learning community by advancing arts-rich, lifelong learning in and
through the arts for all Marylanders. She managed grants for the entire state and offered
numerous technical assistance programs and workshops to organizations who needed them, to
the extent that she has visited nearly 50% of all Maryland Public Schools. Her innovative work
in addressing racial bias in the arts and arts education is currently being replicated by other
A talented force of nature, Alysia is no stranger to program leadership and positive youth development with a keen focus on equity and anti-racist approaches to philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. Her long list of accomplishments in this field include providing local school systems with over one thousand hours of technical assistance in anti-racism, culturally relevant pedagogy, and decolonization practices to support public school students throughout Maryland. Further accolades include leadership in the Anti-Racist Educators in the Arts Learning Lab, the first statewide professional academy for arts educators to elevate their pedagogical approach within a racial equity framework and Supporting LGBTQ+ Students and Families through technical assistance for adult allies.
Lee then reviewed her 90-day plan and discussed the first grantmaking cycle for BCYF, Inc. The 90-day plan includes three phases of Observation, Listening, and Analysis, which are all anchored in learning. Lee shared her goals for each phase: develop understanding of the people, vision, and standing of BCYF, Inc. by examining the infrastructure and internal ecosystem, examine the external partnerships and ecosystem that intersect with the work of BCYF, Inc. and finally, build the capacity of the leadership team’s collective work. She highlighted BCYF, Inc.’s first Grant Cycle launch.
Selection of Officers– Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright introduced this portion of the meeting, for the Board to nominate and vote to select
members for the Officer positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of BCYF, Inc.
For the role of Board Chair, Caldwell nominated Cartwright. For the role of Vice Chair, BentonJones nominated Allen. For the role of Treasurer, Cartwright nominated Morris. For the role of
Secretary, Cartwright nominated Caldwell.
Cartwright asked if there were any questions or points of discussion around the nominations,
and there were none. She then called for a vote on the nominations. Morris moved to approve
all four nominations. The nominations were unanimously approved by all Board members in
attendance, with no abstentions. The approved Board officers are:
- Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
- Kirsten Allen, Vice Chair
- John Morris, Treasurer
- Jacqueline Caldwell, Secretary
Review of Board Committees – Jacqueline Caldwell, Board Secretary
Caldwell introduced each of the current Board committees to the group, sharing their work
focus and charges, as follows:
The Executive Committee is comprised of the Officers of the Board of Directors, who are
responsible for the following:
- Expeditious Actions and Recommendations for the Board’s Consideration
- Evaluation of and Succession Planning for the President
Race Equity and Inclusion Committee
The Race Equity Committee is composed of members of the Board and non-directors who are
stakeholders of the Corporation, and includes a Board-appointed Chairperson charged with
management of the committee. The Race Equity Committee is responsible for the following:
- Biennial Review and Organizational Accountability
- Board Commitment and Ongoing Learning
Community Engagement and Communications Committee
The Community Engagement & Communications Committee is charged with Elevation,
Community Building, and Innovation, which includes the following:
- Elevation of Local Leaders who are Working with Baltimore Youth
- Community Building to Partner with Local Leaders to Create an Ecosystem for
- Baltimore Youth Development Practitioners
- Communication that Actively Seeks Opportunities for Community Engagement
The Finance Committee shall oversee the financial operations, internal controls, long-term fiscal
health, and compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements. The Finance
Committee is responsible for the following:
- Budgeting, Financial Planning, and Financial Reporting
- Establishing and Maintaining Internal Controls and Accountability
The Strategic Investment Committee is charged with advising on the programmatic direction of BCYF, Inc. This committee is responsible for the following:
- Marshall BCYF, Inc.’s Resources
- Alignment of BCYF, Inc. Mission, Vision, and Values with Strategy and Implementation
Treasurer’s Report – John Morris, Board Treasurer and Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations and Finance
Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. is committed to transparency and public accountability in the use
of public dollars and is continuing to be a good steward of public resources. He introduced
Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations and Finance to provide an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s
Cole Moulden presented BCYF, Inc.’s current Statement of Financial Position, and budget
documents for Fiscal Year 2022 from July – December 2021.
Employment Policies and Hiring Updates – Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations and Finance
Cole Moulden shared the updated BCYF, Inc. Employee Handbook, incorporating the edits
discussed at the previous Transition Board Meeting on December 15, 2021. She stated that
BCYF, Inc. would soon finalize the handbook.
Cole Moulden also gave updates on the hiring process for BCYF, Inc.’s Vice President roles, as
well as the next round of hiring. The second round of hiring will support grantmaking and
technical assistance, and the first grant cycle will launch this fiscal year
Adjournment – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright adjourned the Board meeting at 8:14 p.m
The next meeting of the BCYF, Inc. Board of Directors will be Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 6:30
p.m. via Zoom.