(BALTIMORE – March 18, 2023 ) – Be sure to attend Black Wall Street BALTIMORE COLLEGIATE featuring the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, from 6 to 8 pm, at Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys, located at 2525 Kirk Avenue in Baltimore. RSVP to https://blackwallstreetbaltimorecollegiate.eventbrite.com/.
We celebrate Black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race. Since 2011, BMORENews.com and its partners have recognized more than 2,000 individuals in 9 US cities.
Honorees include Martha Lynn Bowens.
Who is Lynn?
Martha Lynn Bowens is originally from Philadelphia but was raised in the Cherry Hill section of Baltimore City. She is currently an administrator in the Constituent Services Office, (CSO) of the Maryland Department of Human Services, (DHS.) CSO is the statewide point of contact for DHS which serves 23 counties and Baltimore City. Since starting her career with DHS in 1998, she has interacted with an incalculable number of Marylanders and has provided solutions to complex matters ranging anywhere from homelessness to helping recently released prisoners find employment to help them re-establish themselves in society. Lynn lives by the quote of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
While at DHS, Lynn was instrumental in enlisting the agency’s involvement by volunteering thousands of hours with Sandtown Habitat for Humanity (SHFH). For over 10 years, Lynn coordinated with SHFH to sign up DHS staff to volunteer alongside members from different churches who came out for the last week in June each summer for SHFH’s Blitz Week. In addition to that, she was also responsible for raising millions of dollars for the Maryland Charity Campaign, (MCC.) The MCC is a workplace charity campaign that was run by the United Way of Central Maryland, (UWCM.) From 1999 through 2016, Lynn was selected to promote the MCC traveling from county to county to solicit donations from her colleagues which resulted in DHS ultimately being awarded top honors for collecting the most donations.
Interestingly enough, Lynn wasn’t always fond of her first name Martha and rejected it until she turned 40. At 40 years old she had an awakening after discovering the meaning of the name Martha is “servant.” Because she had always been a servant in the “beloved community,” she started to embrace the name and the meaning behind it. It was not long after this revelation, that Lynn decided to create an organization to address the needs of the underserved children in Baltimore City. It was because of this desire to serve that she founded and became director of a nonprofit organization named Unity for Success, Inc., (UFS.)
UFS was created to serve at-risk school-aged youth in Baltimore City and it was hired by Baltimore City Public Schools, (BCPSS) under the leadership of the venerable educator, Dr. Walter Amprey. UFS was commissioned by Dr. Amprey to bring creative and transformative programming into BCPSS. One of its programs was “In the Classroom with Lynn” which involved bringing in entrepreneurs and city leaders to talk with junior and senior high school students about overcoming life’s obstacles and how to formulate a plan for their future after graduating. Also, before the start of the new school year, UFS held its annual “Rally in the Park” in Druid Hill Park with sponsorship from Adidas and Downtown Locker Room. That partnership allowed UFS to give away clothing and school supplies to students and their families to help defray the cost of back-to-school expenses.
These days Lynn spends her time continuing to research ways to improve her world and the world around her. She is on a mission to become the best version of herself and the greatest iteration of Lynn Bowens possible. She sees life as one continual study of learning, doing, improving, repeating, and starting the process over again. And she recognizes that when she overcomes obstacles and hurdles, her experiences are preparing the way for the generation coming after her. After all, she believes that she is an improvement on her Mother Mary’s model, her Mother Mary was an improvement on her Mother Melissa’s model, and so on. Therefore, if we get this right, each generation will be better than the one before.
Lynn is the proud Mother of 4 children and the devoted “Gigi” to 13 grandchildren. She spends time playing video games with her grands and proudly cheering them on at their sports events. Lynn is an avid reader and is currently re-reading “Black Labor, White Wealth by Claude Anderson.” She also enjoys watching historical movies, writing poetry, and gardening.