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  • canitellyourstory

LaTarsha Whitaker

Founder, Bmore Reads & Off Topic Talk

Community Engagement for me means the ability to bring a group of like people together, to a place where they feel a sense of belonging; at Home near or far. The intent is to share resources, grow as an individual, laugh because it's good for the soul, cry because there's a shoulder, and give it back to the world to help someone else. If only one than the world is already a better place.

I have two personal projects:

Bmore Reads (Book Club), is for all book lovers but created with the working millennial in mind. I wanted to bring back what Baltimore the City that Reads meant for me growing up. We are the "bridge generation". The last to see our parents/grandparents read newspapers, do research with an encyclopedia, and witness the art that is writing change; non-creditable click bait is the "New". While the "New" can be entertaining it is important to ensure the mind is being fed with substance. Adulting hasn't always allowed us time to indulge in a good read, but Bmore Reads members are committed to being present - even if the book is half read (laugh). Because life happens....

Off Topic Talk (Table Talk) real life chats with real people. There are people with real questions/concerns and an even bigger community of people with suggestions from personal experience and some with professional/educational background that can offer support. This is MY HOUSE and everyone has a seat at MY TABLE. As an African American woman who identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ many lives in my communities were short lived because they did not feel they had a relatable place to simply BE. I chose to be vulnerable, non-scripted, with honest and genuine responses. We can't forget laughter! The tribe is AWESOME! Topics are picked by the community - so what's on your mind?

Lastly, I volunteer for many organizations but most proud to be a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) in Baltimore for youth who have come into care of the State due to neglect and/or abuse. I was sworn in September of 2012 and never stopped. I started by saying if only one (1) child could feel supported, be provided with tools to succeed, and experience something different... Let's just say I didn't stop at one. Community is my passion, Baltimore is my home, and giving back to it is my responsibility.

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