about

Urban Engagement Initiative is an organization putting words into action in Baltimore City. We're confronting the issues of food insecurity, education, unemployment, small business needs, and more that should be priorities to our leadership, but hasn't been. We're putting boots on the ground and hands in the game to improve our neighborhoods and livelihoods.

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PASTOR Shannon Wright

Executive Director

Shannon Wright was born at the height of the 20th Century Civil Rights movement. Many of these experiences went into shaping who Shannon has become today, because of the way her family taught her the lessons they learned. Shannon saw her own family’s progression from living in the projects, to home ownership – this path in her life has given her a unique perspective into the good and the bad of welfare, the distribution of wealth, and equality versus equity. She knows where people are, where some have moved from, and how it impacts communities and interactions between the diverse communities within the city. Her life has given her many of the experiences that Baltimore residents live daily. Who better to lead change than someone who understands?

Shannon was raised to understand the importance of giving back and community service. She worked with several nonprofit community organizations and was able to gain a clear perspective of the fallout from lack of equality and equity in Black communities. Her work lead her to be a negotiator on a $300M desegregation settlement on behalf of the NAACP allowing her the opportunity to work under the organizational leadership of then NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, NAACP President Kwesi Mfume, and NAACP Board Member and civil rights activist Hazel Dukes. During this time Shannon got to meet with then New Orleans Mayor and current leader of the National Urban League, Marc Morial to get an even better understanding of the core issues plaguing many Black cities. In continuing her community work Shannon was asked to develop a new strategy for block grant funding coming out of the federal government and going into community organizations. She continues to work in Baltimore and lobby the Federal government to change policies to be able to genuinely lift up and turn around Baltimore. Shannon has always been actively involved in community improvement (city cleanups, community gardens, and school drives to name a few) and is no stranger to the community at large as a pastor, radio personality, and a youth advisor. 

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Dr. Christopher Metzler

founding member

Dr. Christopher Metzler is a political pundit, government strategist, global thought leader, legal scholar, and serial entrepreneur.

Educated at The University of Oxford in Oxford England and Columbia University, he is a member of both Oxford University and Kellogg College at the University of Oxford. Dr. Metzler obtained a Ph.D. in Law and Political Science from The University of Aberdeen. A former faculty member at Cornell University, he was a professor at Georgetown University where he also served as Senior Associate Dean of Applied Management Degrees at Georgetown University. Today, he is a Senior Fellow at the Thomas Jefferson University Institute of Emerging Health Professions — home of The Sidney Kimmel School of Medicine.

 

Since the start of his career in 1992, as a Constitutional Legal Scholar, Dr. Metzler has worked in over twenty countries providing advice on Geopolitics, emerging markets, International  Law, International Humanitarian Law, Political Science Diplomacy, and related topics. He is frequently called upon as an expert witness in state and federal courts on legal issues and travels extensively speaking to colleges, private organizations and businesses throughout the United States and abroad.

 

A non-Executive Chairman in the global healthcare enterprise, Dr. Metzler’s business portfolio spans wide in the medical and Management Consulting fields, where he is  CEO of Gordium HealthCare, City Place Pharmacy, Next Generation Labs, JMI Consulting, Medicine on Wheels, 911 Urgent Care, FHWFIT, and others.

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Nicole Beus

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founding member

Nicole Beus Harris is a conservative political consultant, marketer, and entrepreneur - plus an occasional guest radio host.

Originally from the West Coast of the United States, she lived in the Midwest (Chicago area) for a while before making Maryland her home. She has proudly called Maryland home for the last 20+ years and splits her time between Baltimore and the Eastern Shore.

 

Her college education centered on history, art history & design, and business. She believes that understanding the factors that contributed to revolutions, wars, and changes within countries is necessary to understanding current affairs and avoiding past failures to be repeated. Furthermore she realizes how marketing has influenced major social changes and led to the rise or fall of leaders and programs.

Nicole has worked in many administrative positions, most notably she worked with Robert Half International where she was the Lead Administrator for 7 offices in Maryland and Delaware. RHI is one of the world's foremost employment specialists and the knowledge and information gained regarding employment, employment searches, and also from the employers viewpoint gives her some unique insight into Maryland's job market. This knowledge is crucial when looking to rebuild Baltimore City's business base and bring jobs for all residents.

Having grown up in a law enforcement family and having spent some time in law enforcement herself - she has some unique insight into local law enforcement issues and community relations.

Nicole has a heart for Baltimore City and contacts from local leaders, to the state, and into the federal government and is willing to call them to improve Baltimore.