The meeting of the Transition Board of Directors of the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. was held on November 17th , 2021, via video conference.
Board Members in Attendance: Dion Cartwright, Chair; Kirsten Allen, Vice Chair; John Morris, Treasurer; Julia Baez, Secretary; Catherine Benton-Jones, Jacqueline Caldwell
Board Members Absent: Erika Seth Davies, Vice Chair; Earl El-Amin
The Meeting was called to order by the Chair, Dion Cartwright, at 6:39 p.m.
Welcome & Review of the Agenda – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright welcomed the Transition 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 meeting’s focus on a review of BCYF, Inc.’s Transition Period, and updates on several policies and processes that will make up BCYF, Inc.’s permanent infrastructure. She outlined the following items of the meeting agenda: a review of the previous two meetings’ minutes, a status report of the organization’s work and development through the Transition Period, an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s financial stewardship including a financial report, discussion of the permanent Board slate and permanent governance structure, and updates on the hiring process of BCYF, Inc.’s first employees.
Meeting Minutes from September 15th Board Meeting and November 10th Special Board Meeting – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
Cartwright announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the September 15th Board meeting. She asked if there were any amendments or comments, and there were none. Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. 2
Morris moved for approval of the minutes. Caldwell seconded the motion. The September 15, 2021 BCYF, Inc. Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with no abstentions.
Cartwright then moved on to the November 10th Special Board meeting. She announced that the Board had received the draft of the meeting minutes from the November 10, 2021 Special Board meeting. She asked if there were any amendments or comments, and there were none.
Baez moved for approval of the minutes. Morris seconded the motion. The November 10th BCYF, Inc. Special Board meeting minutes were unanimously approved with no abstentions.
Overview of the Transition Period– Kera Ritter, Transition Manager and Dion Cartwright, Board Chair
- supported over 70 grantees, • established the Avis Ransom Institute for youth leadership development,
- launched a free community technical assistance series,
- redeveloped its website,
- started a regular community e-newsletter,
- adopted a race-equity framework to guide the organization,
- initiated the organization’s first audit,
- built the infrastructure for a quasi-public entity to comply with public requests and BCYF’s commitment to community accountability,
- identified and selected the initial permanent Board members through a public process
- GOAL: Develop an infrastructure to carry out and support BCYF, Inc.’s mission, vision, and values as a black liberatory organization that advances opportunity for City youth and young adults, and supports the programs that serve them. a. Systems and frameworks i. Racial equity framework ii. Evaluation and learning framework; logic model iii. Youth development philosophy iv. Strategic Investments Strategy v. Grants management system vi. Hiring and benefits management systems vii. Financial management system viii. Communications infrastructure b. Processes i. Grantmaking ii. Operations iii. Communications iv. Community Engagement c. Policies i. HR ii. Financial iii. Communications iv. Conflict of Interest d. People i. Executive team job descriptions and talent search ii. Consultant team iii. Board
- GOAL: Develop a board and board infrastructure prepared and able to govern such an institution, with inter-generational leadership, and accountable to the public. a. Transition Board’s Work i. The Transition Board worked in 3 standing committees and ad hoc committees to ensure the policies and frameworks for the organization are aligned to BCYF, Inc.’s values. ii. Supported and advanced the development of community engagement, financial stewardship, race equity and youth-centered approaches, and the development of a strategic investment strategy. b. Permanent Board selection process i. The Transition Board participated and interviewed applicants from an open call for applications and tonight will announce the permanent Board slate that will be a part of the City Council hearing for the public to hear from the permanent members of the Board. c. Youth pipeline for Board service i. The Transition Board contributed to the framing of the youth development approach and the launch of the Avis Ransom Institute as the pipeline for youth Board leadership and leadership across the City.
- GOAL: Set clear direction for BCYF, Inc. Programming and a road map for the foreseeable future that incorporates our investment strategies and capacity-building approaches. a. Grassroots Fund b. Innovation Fund c. Aligned Grantmaking d. President’s Fund e. Technical Assistance
- GOAL: Offer a shared learning environment for grantees, funders, nongrantees, staff and the community-at-large that supports equitable philosophies and practices.
- a. Community Technical Assistance
- b. Culture of Learning
- c. Casemaking
BCYF, Inc. as an Accountable Race-Equity Focused Organization – Mindelyn Anderson, Research and Evaluation Consultant
Cartwright stated that being a race-equity focused organization is key value of BCYF, Inc. and integral aspect of the organization’s charge set by the ordinance. She recalled that in the Baltimore Children & Youth Fund, Inc. 5 September 15th, 2021 Board meeting the Board approved a race equity framework and called for the BCYF consultant team to further develop the framework, accountability mechanisms, and evaluation strategy and approach.
Cartwright introduced Mindelyn Anderson, BCYF, Inc.’s lead consultant for Evaluation and Learning, to provide an update on the development of the implementation plans and the adoption of a learning and evaluation framework that will guide BCYF, Inc.’s work.
Anderson reviewed the proposed framework for evaluation, which the Transition Board also received a copy of prior to the meeting.
Morris moved for approval of the evaluation framework. Allen seconded the motion. The BCYF, Inc. Evaluation Framework was unanimously approved with no abstentions.
Financial Stewardship – John Morris, Board Treasurer and Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations and Finance
A. Finance Report Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. is continuing to be a good steward of public resources through its internal controls. He introduced Dana Cole Moulden, Lead for Operations and Finance to provide an overview of BCYF, Inc.’s finances. Cole Moulden presented BCYF, Inc.’s Statement of Financial Position, and budget documentation for FY21 close and FY22.
B. Audit Update Morris stated that BCYF, Inc. has moved forward with the selection of its auditor, SB & Company, beginning the first audit engagement. As a part of the audit engagement, SB & Company has also filed BCYF, Inc.’s first 990 with the IRS.
Permanent Governance Structure – Dion Cartwright, Board Chair and Dorcas R. Gilmore, General Counsel
Cartwright stated that the Board has reviewed the application and approval process for the permanent Board, and that she is providing more information about the permanent Board slate during this meeting. She announced the following people are part of the permanent BCYF, Inc. Board of Directors:
a. 5 Current Transition Board members
- Kirsten Allen
- Catherine Benton-Jones
- Jacqueline Caldwell
- Dion Cartwright
- John Morris
b. 4 new Board members
- Keiona Gorham
- Lisa Molock
- Marcus Pollock
- Larry Simmons
c. Youth Board members from the Avis Ransom Institute
- 4-5 youth from the Avis Ransom Institute will be a part of the Board onboarding process and start their terms in January of 2022
Cartwright announced that the Board had received information on these candidates and agreed upon Board consensus selection criteria. She asked if there were any questions or comments regarding the slate, and there were none.
Baez moved for approval of the slate. Caldwell seconded the motion. The BCYF, Inc. Permanent Board of Directors slate was unanimously approved with no abstentions. Cartwright stated that the next step in this process will be for the public to have an opportunity to hear from the permanent Board slate in a City Council hearing. This hearing is scheduled for November 18, 2021, at 10 a.m.