Programs & Event Calendar
CCC will continue to provide essential resources and food at our in-person distribution sites as well through our delivery service. We will never ask for proof of need or identification!
CCC will provide opportunities for community members of all ages to cultivate and develop their passions, talents, and skills. We strive to encourage lifelong joy and financial freedom!
Columbia Community Care is dedicated to providing holistic & traditional programs and services designed to enhance our community members’ quality of life physically, mentally, and spiritually.
CEI & CCC Community Garden Program
Come help us maintain our community garden & contribute your time and gardening skills to help us grow our own produce for all of our CCC families!
Essential Resources & Free Expungement Clinic
This series will take place bi-annually, each with a unique focus relating to CCC’s mission and values.
The next event will be in the Spring of 2024!
The Community Ecology Institute's Freetown Farm & CCC Harvesting Program
This program is ongoing Fridays 9am – 11am
Thank you so much for your support!
Passion Driven Career Paths Speaker Series
This series will feature folks who have passion driven careers while also building financial stability and generational wealth! Be inspired to discover and follow your passions and dream of a future where you can say “Every morning I wake up and I GET to (insert career)!” This series is a part of the S.T.A.N.D. HoCo Mentorship Program & The P.U.S.H. Program
Health & Healing
P.U.S.H Community Safety Program
- Homework Assistance
- Service Opportunities
- Career Workshops
- Sports / Activities
- Snacks & More!
P.U.S.H. is also working in partnership with Homewood Center to provide mentorship opportunities for students
Ages: 6th – 12th Grades
Weekly: Monday – Thursday
Time: 3:15pm – 6:00pm
Where: Columbia Athletic Club
S.T.A.N.D. HoCo Mentorship Program
Key Elements & CCC Volleyball Program
Ages: 10 – 18yo
When: August 14th was our last summer session. During the fall players and coaches will be busy in season. We plan to start back up post volleyball season (Mid November)
Towson-Carter Patient Advocacy and Empowerment Pilot
This pilot program led by Dr. Renee Grant, CCC Community Healthcare Advocate, will provide advocacy assistance around obstacles in access to quality healthcare. While assisting those who seek this service, we will also provide education and information around options and eligibility for participation in alternative healthcare opportunities, such as acupuncture.
* Our staff will not provide medical advice around diagnosis or treatment
Columbia Community Circles 4 Peace and Justice
The Columbia Community Circles 4 Peace and Justice is part of creating a culture shift in our community that will help to address social and emotional well being of children, young people, adults, elders and families. Restorative Peace circles are a practice under the philosophy of Restorative Justice, which has been westernized from Indigenous traditions and culture worldwide.
Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose Series
The Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose Series will take place once a month in the evenings beginning at 6pm (see Google Calendar) in alignment with the BLM at School Year of Purpose Calendar, during the first week of February to kick off Black History Month with events, workshops, and demand campaigns throughout the week, and possibly additional dates depending on the needs of the community.
CCC Peace & Justice Center
Columbia Community Care intends to acquire a physical space to be named Columbia Community Care Peace & Justice Center (CCCPJC). CCCPJC will be a safe, loving, affirmative, joyous, healing, and restorative space for all community members to enjoy. CCCPJC will house our programming, activities, and events, as well as be open daily for general public use. STAY TUNED!
P.U.S.H Community Safety Program
Youth will lead their peers in providing alternative ways of thinking when in high stress situations to prevent any life altering events from impacting them in non productive ways. Youth will have access to opportunities for mental and emotional development and life skills through discussions and resources for Self-Awareness, Situational Awareness, Social Confidence, Future Focus, Plan B thinking. P.U.S.H will create an atmosphere where youth can explore every opportunity possible. Depending on the needs assessments and listening sessions, potential resources and program will focus around: Resume assistance, Employment Opportunities, Career Speaker Series, Youth speaker series, Community engagement events, Community Recreational Sports, After school assistance, Speakers, Know Your Rights Trainings, Racial Justice Trainings, Stop the Bleed Trainings, and much more as we grow within the community. This type of community violence prevention program, by youth for youth, has never existed in Howard County, but we are confident that we have the right staff and community partners to make this a huge success. Let the youth lead.
PUSH is also working in partnership with Homewood Center to provide mentorship opportunities for students
Our hope is for specifically BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) male elders, community members, and community leaders to be a supportive and guiding presence for BIPOC youth in our community. Intergenerational connection and exchange is essential to knowledge of self, sense of self, self esteem, and self confidence and self-worth. Our model of learning and knowledge sharing is cyclical and interconnected, as opposed to linear or transactional, calling on the concept of Sankofa (a metaphorical symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana, generally depicted as a bird with its head turned backward taking an egg from its back that expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress) to ensure that our young people and whole community thrive. The mentors and youth will share space together in Restorative Peace Circles or other fellowship activities. Mentors will engage young people in activities to build relationships, have tough conversations, and express thoughts, experiences, feelings, and emotions. Mentors will spend Thursdays and possibly additional days depending on feasibility, taking mentees on excursions that promote joy and also life skills, practical skills, and exploration of passions and possibility. Many of the young people of Columbia/Howard County have never left their community or had the opportunity to travel to other states or countries. Our mentors and mentees will have the opportunity to participate in a Torch Youth Fund Retreat. As part of the retreat, they will learn nature survival skills, coping skills, healing mechanisms to deal with trauma, and basic life skills (i.e. tying a tie, interview practice, etc). Mentors and youth will also have time with the intention of joy and relationship building through fishing, boating, exploration of culturally rich neighborhoods, and various culinary experiences.
Fridays: 9:00am – 11:00am
CEI Freetown Farm & CCC Market Farm Harvesting Program
Fridays 9:00am -11:00am for CCC Specific Volunteering
CCC folks are also welcome to sign up for any open volunteer shift they see outside of this specific opportunity—we’d love to have anyone interested come by during our other open windows (Wednesdays and Saturdays). Location: Freetown Farm, 8000 Harriet Tubman Ln, Columbia, MD 21044
Volunteers will get the opportunity to help out in our garden areas with plant care, beautification, and harvesting for donations to CCC.
How to register:
If you have never volunteered with CEI before, please register via our volunteer management system, Better Impact, and fill out our volunteer application. You will need to create a username and password with an email associated with it, answer some basic personal information questions, and additional optional questions around your interests and demographics.
Specific to CCC Volunteers:
When answering the questions “What group are you volunteering with?”, please answer Columbia Community Care in order to view specific volunteer opportunities for your organization. Once registered (or if you already have a Better Impact profile), navigate to your MyImpact homepage; here, you will find the “Opportunities” tab, where you can view our open volunteer opportunities in a calendar or list format. Just click on one of the shifts and select “Sign Up”; make sure to note it in your own calendar, as our system will only send you a reminder a week in advance.
CCC volunteers, please visit the volunteer page of CEI’s website, which also contains CEI’s volunteer handbook—a helpful resource prepared to orient folks to volunteering with CEI. Please email email@example.com with any questions/concerns you might have.
When: The 3rd Saturday of every month
Bike HoCo & CCC Bike Rest Stop Program
This program is a collaboration between the Bike HoCo group and Columbia Community Care. We are seeking volunteers to keep up the maintenance of the Bike Rest Stop at the entrance of Freetown Farm. This calming, peaceful, and beautiful space is a lovely place for cyclists to rest their bodies while they take in the beauty of Freetown Farm and Mother Nature. Maintenance would include weeding and mulching. This program will take place the last Saturday of every month (weather permitting).
SIGN UP: Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.
Passion Driven Career Paths Speaker Series
This series will feature folks who have passion driven careers while also building financial stability and generational wealth! Be inspired to discover and follow your passions and dream of a future where you can say “Every morning I wake up and I GET to (insert career)!” This series is a part of the S.T.A.N.D. HoCo Mentorship Program
Featured speakers will include:
● Stand Up Comedians
● Business Owners
● Professional Photographer
● Food Truck Owner
● Non-profit Leaders
● Personal Trainer
● Educator Activist and Rapper
● And more!
Starts again October 8th
Ages: 10 – 18yo
When: August 14th will be our last summer session. During the fall players and coaches will be busy in season. We plan to start back up post volleyball season (Mid November)
For more information & Registration:
Please text: (410) 868-6858
The Key Elements & CCC Volleyball Program
Our amazing volleyball program features an individual/small group tailored experience, taught by collegiate volleyball athletes, that will guarantee athletic and skill development for each participant! The program will prepare participants for high school level or club volleyball. From beginners who have never picked up a ball to those who have already been playing this amazing team sport for years, this is the program for you! Our summer program has wrapped up and was a HUGE success! 95% of our participants made their high school teams and 100% of participants made huge strides in their skills, teamwork, and confidence!
Our summer cohort was a huge success! Our winter cohort has begun but is open on a rolling basis!
Wednesdays: 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am – 1:00pm
Towson-Carter Acupuncture Pilot Program
Towson-Carter Acupuncture Initiative for Social & Emotional Learning will promote and provide access to alternative health care for pediatrics with an intentional focus on social and emotional health and well being. Social and emotional health and well being cannot be overlooked in the advocacy for Social and Emotional Learning programs and initiatives. The
social and emotional well-being of a child or young person is directly related to physical well-being of that person as well. They are interrelated and interconnected. Alternative, indigenous or non-western health care and approaches have been used in communities of color for centuries to seek social, emotional, and physical balance and optimal health, which in turn foster healthy relationships within communities as well as thriving communities overall. Unfortunately, alternative healthcare in many communities, including Howard County, is commonly inaccessible to the underserved and minority communities due to cost of services, lack of knowledge about services, and lack of culturally competent practitioners. This Towson-Carter Acupuncture Initiative is even more crucial now due to COVID with the lack of access to care due to the strain on the healthcare system. This program will operate in partnership with Dr. Takiesa “Renee” Grant), the owner and operator of Orchid Blossom Acupuncture in Columbia, MD. As a licensed Doctor of Acupuncture, Dr. Grant specializes in pain management and mental health healing, specifically PTSD, insomnia, anxiety, and depression. She also specializes in treating organizers, activists, and the trauma experienced by the African American community. Using a holistic approach, she addresses the underlying cause of any physical and/or emotional pain and not just short-term symptom management. By doing so, Dr. Grant’s patients experience longer lasting treatment outcomes, improved quality of life, and gain a better understanding of their bodies and how they work. Dr. Grant is also a NADA trained Auricular Detox Specialist (ADS) and uses this training to support the healing of those affected by substance abuse and trauma. She believes in offering her services not only inside her treatment room but also believes in taking this medicine out into the community and often lends her services to underserved and underrepresented communities at reduced or no cost. The program will also include review of parents’ existing insurance coverage and education on using their benefits optimally while educating them on choosing the best benefits going forward. Can also include patient advocacy with existing doctors and help navigating existing institutions. Acupuncture for youth supports social and emotional well being in numerous ways. Acupuncture has been used historically to provide support to vets with PTSD; it can do the same with children. Acupuncture can help children by stimulating the body’s own self-healing mechanisms, stimulating the child’s brain to produce and regulate the production of their own neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, calming down the sympathetic nervous system, influencing how the brain interprets pain signals, relaxing muscles, tendons, and ligaments, increasing blood flow, bringing more oxygen to tissues, and decreasing the need and use of medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and opioids. By using alternative modalities that are safe, effective, and drug-free , we increase positive health outcomes for children, young people and their families, which in turn fosters healthier schools and communities. We can also decrease adverse side effects of medication often prescribed too early in our pediatric communities, decrease healthcare costs and burden on parents, and improve the overall quality of life in pediatric patients. Acupuncture is a proven alternative health approach, and is even a part of Johns Hopkins health services for children and young people as well as The Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. This program will operate similarly to the Acupuncture Clinic at Penn North, as an open clinic. One on one care will depend on 1-1 referral by the technician assisting the patient. Any needs related to transportation will be covered by Columbia Community Care.
Please subscribe to our email list or visit our social media pages for information on upcoming circles
Columbia Community Circles 4 Peace and Justice
The Columbia Community Circles 4 Peace and Justice is part of creating a culture shift in our community that will help to address social and emotional well being of children, young people, adults, elders and families. Restorative Peace circles are a practice under the philosophy of Restorative Justice, which has been westernized from Indigenous traditions and culture worldwide. The foundation of Restorative Justice is building relationships. Restorative Justice, and particularly the practice of Restorative Peace Circles intentionally cultivate an equitable and trusting environment that strengthens relationships between individuals and within schools and communities. Restorative Peace circles are a powerful way to bring community members together and build and foster relationships that remove hierarchy and rather promote equity of voice, experience, thought, and brilliance. Participants have an opportunity to listen to one another, express their own experiences, feelings, and emotion and build connections with one another. One of the most powerful and essential elements of circle is developing values and guidelines through consensus rather than majority vote. This process is essential to the trust, relationships, and interconnectedness of those sitting in circle together. Circle organically and authentically fosters the skills that align with social and emotional learning, such as empathy, hearing other perspectives and experiences, the importance of shared values, the impact of one’s actions on the community, and the importance of authentic relationships. Restorative Peace Circles will be offered to various groups of young people and community members of all ages. Some may be focused groups, such as young people, educators, non-profit women leaders, people who are grieving losses, racial/ethnic affinity groups, LGBTQ+, interfaith collaborative, elementary school age students, etc.
Once a month in the evenings beginning at 6pm (see Google Calendar)
Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose Series
The Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose Series will take place once a month in the evenings beginning at 6pm (see Google Calendar) in alignment with the Black Lives Matter at School Year of Purpose Calendar, during the first week of February to kick off Black History Month, and possibly additional dates depending on the needs of the community.
National History of the Black Lives Matter at School Movement
“Black Lives Matter at School is a national committee of educators organizing for racial justice in education. The Black Lives Matter at School (BLM at School) movement first started in Seattle during the fall of 2016, when thousands of educators in Seattle came to school on October 19th wearing shirts that said, “Black Lives Matter: We Stand Together.” Hundreds of families and students did too. Many of the shirts also included the message “#SayHerName,” a campaign to raise awareness about the often unrecognized state violence and assault of women in our country.This action attracted national news, helping it spread to Philadelphia. That city’s Caucus of Working Educators’ Racial Justice Committee expanded the action to last an entire week that year with teaching points around the principles of Black Lives Matter. During the 2017-2018 school year, from February 5 to 9, thousands of educators around the U.S. wore Black Lives Matter shirts to school and taught lessons about structural racism, intersectional Black identities, Black history, and anti-racist movements for a nationally organized week of action: Black Lives Matter at School. Educators in over 20 cities participated in this national uprising to affirm the lives of Black students, teachers, and families including, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and beyond. In this era of mass incarceration, there is a school-to-prison-pipeline system that is more invested in locking up youth than unlocking their minds. That system uses harsh discipline policies that push Black students out of schools at disproportionate rates; denies students the right to learn about their own cultures and whitewashes the curriculum to exclude many of the struggles and contributions of Black people and other people of color; and is pushing out Black teachers from the schools in cities around the country. With this analysis educators in the BLM at School movement developed these demands for the movement: 1. End “zero tolerance” discipline, and implement restorative justice 2. Hire more Black teachers 3. Mandate Black history and ethnic studies in K-12 curriculum 4. Fund counselors not cops”
Howard County History of the Black Lives Matter at School Movement
The Founder and President of the Anti-Racist Education Alliance, Matthew Vaughn-Smith, and the Executive Director of Columbia Community Care, Erika Chavarria, have been hosting Black Lives Matter at School events, activities, and curriculum sessions in Howard County since 2017, when the movement became national. Since 2017, they have also successfully advocated for the passage of Howard County Board of Education Black Lives Matter at School Resolutions (written by the Anti-Racist Education Alliance), as official endorsements of the Black Lives Matter at School Movement. The Black Lives Matter at School has grown from just a “Week of Action ” during the first week of February, to the Week of Action and a Year of Purpose, which highlight Black Lives Matter principles and actions each month.
Howard County Black Lives Matter at School Program Series 2022-2023
The Anti-Racist Education Alliance, the Howard County Black Lives Matter at School 365 Coalition, and Columbia Community Care will collaborate to host monthly events, workshops, speakers and activities in alignment with this school year’s National Black Lives Matter at School calendar. We will also provide curriculum fairs and pedagogy workshops for educators in the Howard County Public School System (and beyond) to provide anti-racist and Black centered curriculum during the “Week of Action”. The BLM at School movement is the epitome of social and emotional well being, learning, and growth. It fosters and cultivates safe and nurturing environments for students who feel unheard, unseen or unfairly targeted in schools. Centering Black affirming pedagogy and practices and teaching historical truth promote and nurture emotional, social, and psychological well being for students, educators, and the larger community and lead to the development of healthy relationships with one another. Students feel affirmed, valued, heard, and are able to share their own experiences that in turn foster confidence and sense of self-worth. We have already established a base of support for our efforts around BLM at School in Howard County and have continued to grow each year. During the pandemic, the Howard County BLM at School 365 Coalition expanded its leadership team to include young people, including the Wilde Lake Students 4 Social Justice as well as HoCo4Justice. These youth leaders planned and executed virtual events, workshops, and panel discussions, as well as read-alouds and a movie viewing and discussion for all ages. Each activity focused on Black joy, affirmation, voice, and power. We will continue to center Black youth voices and leadership throughout this next year and every year.
The program has concluded. Stay tuned for the next series!
Cultural Imperative Program
The purpose of the Cultural Imperative Program is to increase cultural awareness and critical thinking skills among high school students of African descent. Critical thinking skills are essential to academic success and influence how students navigate their day-to-day activities. A foundation of cultural awareness is built upon learning historically accurate interpretations of African history and culture, which positively impact the student’s self-image and behavior, and strengthens their connection to African and African American people, places and things. The Cultural Imperative Program is designed to help students embrace Africa as a foundation for historical and cultural identity, in order to recognize and materialize their potential for greatness through self-determination, hard-work, perseverance, and education. We strive to help students feel empowered as descendants of African people, instead of feeling ashamed of their skin color or hair texture, or other negative stereotypes associated with being “Black.” As a result of participating in the Cultural Imperative Program, students enhance their critical thinking skills and develop cultural awareness by reading, analyzing, and discussing a variety of texts. (This description states both the purpose and overview of the Cultural Imperative Program, written by the developers of CIP.- Anthony Browder, Debra Watkins, Atlantis Browder )
CCC Expungement Clinic
Columbia Community Care is committed to justice and providing pathways and opportunities to enhance the quality of life of our community members. CCC will host an expungement clinic in partnership with experienced attorneys. The attorneys will assist in completing expungement paperwork for eligible offenses. This opportunity will be free to participants.
“Expungement can be life-changing for the huge number of people who qualify. This paper features the stories of people whose lives were improved even by having minor criminal cases expunged.”