Karen D. Stokes
Strong City Baltimore (formerly the Greater Homewood Community Corporation) is a 47-year-old nonprofit grassroots organization. Its mission is to strengthen neighborhoods and people. “We do not believe in quick fixes to complex problems. Experience has shown us that lasting change is achieved by supporting neighborhood leaders, fostering civic engagement and building community,” says Karen D. Stokes, president of Strong City Baltimore. Stokes’ interest in social justice was ignited by her experience growing up between two New Jersey neighborhoods, one black and the other white. “I vividly remember the 1967 riot in Newark as an 11-year old and how it tore apart families and businesses, and forever changed the landscape of the streets I knew as a child,” she says. “I intuitively understood at an early age the need for healthy, integrated communities.” Stokes often lends her nonprofit expertise to community causes and projects, and she serves on the boards of the Charles Street Development Corporation, The Transit Campaign and the Central Baltimore Partnership.