In 2004, historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr. created National Black Business Month in August to bring attention to the needs of more than two million Black-owned businesses operating across the U.S. Black businesses are essential to the people and communities they serve and operate in. Project Pneuma wanted to highlight a few that have been influential to our growth and service to the community in Baltimore City.

Fearless Solutions: Fearless Solutions has become one the leading tech firms in the country and a leading agent of change in Baltimore City. The digital services firm was founded with a mission to create software with tools that empower communities and make a difference. Fearless delivers sleek, modern, and user-friendly software designed to push the boundaries of possibility. It launched Fearless Sports in January 2020. Delali Dzirasa is the founder and CEO of Dzirasa and the Chairman of Hack Baltimore, a city-wide hackathon formed to deliver solutions in a sustainable way past the end of traditional hackathons. Dzirasa graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2004. He has over 15 years of experience leading agile software teams and programs.

The Sage Wellness Group: Founded by Dr. Tara Doaty in 2013, the Sage Wellness Group assists agencies in improving services provided to children and families of Baltimore City. It has been recognized on both the federal and Baltimore City level as a certified woman-owned and Black-owned business. Dr. Doaty is a national speaker and trainer, often asked to address issues impacting the well-being of children and families. In April 2014, Dr. Doaty published her first children’s book, “Let’s Talk About It,” a collection of five short stories that highlight the journey to self-discovery that every child travels. “Let’s Talk About It” was selected for inclusion in Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Public Library, and one of its stories, titled “Mindful of Me,” was chosen to assist children impacted by the Baltimore Uprising of 2015. Dr. Doaty holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Historically Black College and University Howard University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from HBCU Morgan State University in Baltimore.

Root Branch Media Group: Root Branch is an award-winning, full-service media production firm and learning academy founded in Baltimore City and servicing the mid-Atlantic region since 2006. Root Branch offers services in video production, creative development, motion graphics, branded content, cinematography, photography, web design, and more. Its Film Academy, provides film and digital media arts instruction to youth in grades K-12, partnering with school districts and youth organizations to give students of color the opportunity to use media in a meaningful way that rewrites the narrative of how they are seen in and depicted by the media. Root Branch Media Group founder and CEO, Vonnya Pettigrew, named her company after her family’s property, located on Root Branch Road in South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Media Studies from the University of Maryland.

BMe Community: BMe Community is an award-winning network of innovators, leaders, and changemakers who invest in aspiring communities. BMe boasts Black members who head billion-dollar institutions, lead grassroots organizations, and are brilliant entrepreneurs. Together, they help people to live, own, vote and excel in America without stigma. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, BMe has over 400 Vanguards all over the nation Community. BMe’s founder, Trabian Shorters, invented the term “Asset-Framing,” to acknowledge someone’s aspirations and contributions first, before addressing their challenges. This helps tell a more authentic story about an individual. Asset-framing is in high-demand by the leaders of Top-50 foundations, associations, and social innovation networks.

P.S. Project Pneuma is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

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