Mike BattleRestoring Inner City Hope Baltimore, MD Award Year: 2023
Mike Battle is the co-founder and CEO of Restoring Inner City Hope (RICH), a nonprofit committed to loving, inspiring, and empowering the residents of Baltimore. Growing up in Cherry Hill, home to the largest low-income housing project in Baltimore, Battle has seen his share of despair, struggle, and compromises made for survival in a neighborhood long plagued by gun violence. Battle founded RICH to serve as a resource for the Cherry Hill community, providing events and programming throughout the neighborhood, starting in 2011 with the first Cherry Hill Prayer Walk. This one-mile walk has grown into multiple community events, such as a back-to-school event that has provided backpacks, food, and haircuts to nearly 700 South Baltimore youth, as well as outreach opportunities and partnerships with other local nonprofits. Battle plans to open the first-ever youth-operated juice bar in the neighborhood which will provide healthy and affordable food to the community.