YRI logo Youth Resiliency Institute

Visit the YRI website

facebook   twitter

Baltimore Hush Harbor Blog

Hush Harbors were spaces where enslaved Africans in America had covert meetings to plan escapes, organize revolts, reaffirm and engage in (re)membrance. A hush harbor is not only a place, it is a "conceptual metaphor" (Levine, 1997).

The thoughts, ideas and ponderings of Youth Resiliency Institute cultural organizers, parents, advisory board members and supporters are offered to stimulate cross-generational cultural (re)membrance, spiritual/bodily healing, celebration, action and knowledge.
Baltimore Hush Harbor Blogs




August, 2014


From July 30-31, 2014, The Youth Resiliency Institute participated in the White House Symposium on Transformative Family Engagement, sharing their work and message of the importance of culturally relevant family engagement with White House officials and education policymakers.

YRI Fanon Hill

Photo courtesy of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Youth Resiliency Institute Excutive Director & Co-Founder, Fanon Hill introduces a microdocumentary at the White House focusing on YRI's culture-based arts family engagement model.


On Thursday, August 21, the Youth Resiliency Institute will host the first workshop in its “Strengths of Black Families” series in order to continue this important conversation. 

The Symposium on Transformative Family Engagement was organized by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in partnership with the White House, and focused on the ways family engagement bolsters the educational and life success of children, and how such engagement can be facilitated.

The Youth Resiliency Institute, which received a half-million dollar family engagement grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in March, 2014, for its Journey Project, shared the importance of engaging and including families in their children’s education in low-income Black communities.  In order to do this effectively, it must be understood that in many such communities ‘family’ does not simply mean a parent or legal guardian, but is far more expansive, often including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even older cousins and siblings. 

It also requires seeing family as a partner in, and not an obstacle to, a child’s well-being.  Failing to recognize this cuts children off from an important source of support, and symbolically removes them from a broader history from which they might otherwise draw strength.

“When it’s recognized that parents are assets to their children’s education, it opens up opportunities for trust to be developed, for connections and collaborations to take place that truly provide for healthy whole child development,” said Fanon Hill, co-founder of the Youth Resiliency Institute with his wife Navasha Daya, in a microdocumentary on the institute’s work that premiered at the symposium. 

U.S Secretary of Education

Photo courtesy of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan speaks about Title I Parent Engagement at the 2014 White House Symposium on Transformative Family Engagement.

The “Strengths of Black Families” workshop series will further the conversation begun at the symposium by exploring and celebrating promotive and protective factors employed by Black families living in marginalized communities. 

The first workshop was held on August 21st in Albamarle Square and was titled "Demystifying School Readiness: Preparing the Whole Family For A New School Year. " Families from multiple Baltimore communities enjoyed an afternoon of inspirational discussion and practical planning for the coming school year. These workshops are free and open to the public.

The Journey Project engages the families of low-income Black children in culturally relevant ways through cross-generational art-making workshops in order to facilitate those families’ participation in their children’s educations.  More information on the Journey Project is available at www.yrijourneyproject.org.

The Youth Resiliency Institute is a culture-based arts organization operating in the Cherry Hill and Albemarle Square neighborhoods of Baltimore, MD, and in East Cleveland, Ohio, all among their respective city's most distressed communities. YRI is dedicated to inspiring realization of the authentic self in children, youth and adults. Through a creative, arts-based, culturally rich rites of passage process, YRI offers an array of mentoring and training services grounded in the cultural roots of residents to create and nurture a new generation of effective, community-based leaders. By emphasizing the importance of culture and family to the success of children, the Youth Resiliency Institute works to impart a knowledge of the history and cultural achievements in whose stream the children subsist, equipping them with a sense of self that engenders greater resiliency in the face of challenges in their community. 


Visit the YRI website

Donate | Join us on Facebook!

info@youthresiliencyinstitute.org | 443.934.1972 | P.O. Box 592, Baltimore, MD 21203

© Copyright 2012 – Youth Resiliency Institute – All rights reserved

The Youth Resiliency Institute is a program under the umbrella of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Maryland. The Youth Resiliency Institute is dedicated to inspiring realization of the authentic self in children, youth and young adults in Baltimore. We encourage and support authentic living in the service of just, joyful and sustainable communities.