Brittany Oliver has been checking in with Black women who are the quiet strength of Baltimore: the city’s every-day workers, mothers, mentors, students, community workers and elders in Baltimore. She found that despite Baltimore being one of the largest majority-Black cities in the nation, too many Black women felt invisible.

This weekend, Oliver and other organizers of Not Without Black Women, a community group focused on African-American females, will meet with hundreds of Black women from all sectors of the city to discuss “The State of Black Women in Baltimore.” The gathering was scheduled to take place Saturday, Jan. 6 at the Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood.

“The Baltimore uprising happened and nobody checked in with Black women,” Oliver said of the 2015 protests linked to Freddie Gray’s death while in custody of the Baltimore police. Oliver noted that for all of the national attention the city received during the Freddie Gray uprising, the concerns of Black women in the city have largely been dissipated since Gray’s death.

“Even though we live in a predominately Black city and we’ve had Black women leaders, I think that we need to do a better job connecting with women who have not gone to college, who don’t make a minimum wage, who are heading single-parent households with kids and who don’t have access to transportation,” she said.

The State of Black Women in Baltimore offers an opportunity for Baltimore women to connect with each other about the socio-economic and political issues that impact their lives on a personal, social and professional level.

“We have a Black female mayor. That doesn’t mean that her values support those whom she represents,” said Jetaime Ross, an educator, women’s advocate and one of several panelists scheduled to attend Saturday’s event. “A lot of the time politicians have to accommodate to the status quo. It’s really important that forward thinking, conscious Black women are in a position to speak about major issues impacting Baltimore, such as the high percentage of women in poverty.”

Ross will be joined by Dr. Helena Hicks, a renowned local civil rights activist and youth mentor; DeBora Ricks, the founder of Sisters Gathered to Heal; Nykidra Robinson, CEO of Black Girls Vote; Key’Ayshia Tucker, director of Trans Baltimore; and Ateria Griffin, Executive Director of Building our Nations Daughters, among others.

Not Without Black Women is a movement of “everyday” Black women aiming to “radically uplift our voices through sisterhood, dialogue and self-expression,” said Oliver.  The group is involved in community mentoring, public service, collaborative partnerships and political advocacy. For more information, visit: