March 29, 2022

March newsletter: Elevating Mental Health Together, meet the new equity collaborative and more!

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Join us on April 27 for How Fare We’ve Come: Elevating Mental Health Together

Conversations about mental health in our community have never been more important. From expanding local and regional crisis services to ensuring ALL Howard County students can access mental health supports in their schools, we’ve certainly come a long way. But much work remains. Join us for this in-person event – with special guest speaker Mike Locksley, University of Maryland Head Football Coach – that will honor the work of the Mental Health Matters Coalition, other community partners and our legislative champions to advance mental health causes in Howard County and beyond. Register now and share with your networks!

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Kicking off our new Racial Equity Collaborative

This January, the Foundation was thrilled to launch a new cohort of grantees for the Howard County Racial Equity Collaborative. Over the next several years, participating organizations will gather monthly for intensive racial equity training, coaching and organizational development to help them better advance equity and fight systemic racism in Howard County. They will also collaborate on a joint equity-related policy campaign and build power to advance racial equity issues that matter to them and their communities. Check out this video to meet our new Collaborative members!

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Send your message to support students’ mental health!

An enhanced set of mental health supports are poised to expand to ALL Howard County public schools over the next two years with funding recently promised by County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball, along with nearly $1 million in philanthropic support from the Horizon Foundation and the Kahlert Foundation for licensed mental health professionals in schools. After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, our students need mental health support more than ever. Send your message to County Executive Ball TODAY to ensure this funding is protected in this year’s budget!

Take action now>>


Join us in welcoming Janet Olajide to the Foundation!

This month, we welcomed another new face at the Horizon Foundation – meet Janet Olajide, who will serve as our part-time fiscal officer! Janet is a seasoned management accountant specializing in the nonprofit sector, and has more than 25 years of experience track record of ensuring nonprofit organization fiscal solvency, compliance with governing laws and regulations and maintenance of fiscal policies that support internal controls. We are thrilled to have you, Janet!

Read Janet’s bio>>


Howard County likely voters strongly support health measures

In a recent poll by Lake Research Partners, Howard County likely voters made their voice loud and clear in their strong support of multiple potential health measures. Voters gave their big nod of approval to everything from maternity care for uninsured mothers to investments in mental health and complete streets. They also expressed strong support for measures to improve nutrition in the county as well as policies to improve housing and other social determinants of health.

Read the poll memo >>


10 years with our president and CEO, Nikki Highsmith Vernick!

Congratulations to our fearless leader! On March 1, Nikki Highsmith Vernick celebrated her 10th anniversary leading the Foundation. Nikki, we can’t thank you enough for all of your support, vision and commitment to leading us forward. Here’s to the next 10 years!


Staff picks: what we’re reading, watching and listening to