Open Society Institute to close Baltimore office after 25 years
Open Society Foundations, the progressive grant-maker bankrolled by philanthropist George Soros, announced Thursday that later this year it is closing its Baltimore operation, the group’s only field office in the United States.
Open Society Institute-Baltimore, which first opened 25 years ago, has funded individuals and groups with unique approaches to attacking drug addiction, widespread incarceration and obstacles that prevent area youth from succeeding both in and out of school – three problems that deeply affect underserved populations in the city.
“For a quarter of a century, OSI-Baltimore has invested in local organizations and leaders whose creativity, industry, and commitment to racial justice, equity, and good government are unparalleled,” said Tom Perriello, executive director of Open Society U.S. “Baltimore has been a powerful source of innovation and inspiration as we have worked—and succeeded—to expand voting rights, improve education, curb police violence, and treat drug use as a public health problem.”
Closure of the Baltimore field office is part of an Open Society Foundations consolidation plan developed to reallocate more money around the world, the organization said in a statement.
As the office closes, OSI plans to invest $10 million in a yet-to-be-launched program across the state called the Maryland Black Futures Fund, a five-year campaign designed to ensure Black power-building, as part of the effort to combat systemic racism.