Hathaway Ferebee of the Safe and Sound Campaign
SpotlightSpotlight interviews advocates, community leaders and policymakers who have dedicated their careers to improving our communities, our nation and the world.
Hathaway Ferebee has served as Executive Director of the Safe and Sound Campaign since its inception in 1996. The Campaign builds sustainable funding for opportunities for Baltimore’s children, youth and families. Through community organizing and public private financial contracts, the Campaign has enabled the reallocation of millions state dollars from programs that don’t work to those that do.
She holds an MA in Community Planning from the University of Maryland and a BA in sociology from Mary Baldwin College. Prior to her work with the Safe and Sound Campaign, Ms. Ferebee served for eight years as the Executive Director of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association,Baltimore’s oldest citizen action organization, where she lent her leadership to Baltimore’s landmark success to restrict outdoor advertising of alcohol and tobacco products and the founding of Baltimore’s New Schools movement.
Who inspired you to do the work you are doing?
My first community organizing supervisor, Pynke Gohaner, when I was a VISTA volunteer in her Community Action Program in Central Virginia. She showed me grace, determination, reflection, how to win and how to gain strength from mutual respect and care.
What is the biggest challenge facing the United States and how would you fix it?
Structural racism. First step is to ensure the term is understood and with a shared goal across races, institute creative financing tools to ensure all children and youth have access to the basic opportunities necessary for safe, healthy and educated development and equal chance to reach their own potential.
Where can we find more of your work?
What advice do you have for young people interested in your field?
Learn about work in your community to create equal opportunity and get engaged in their projects and advocacy . See what type of activities you enjoy and have skills to carry-out. Meet like minded people and share your ideas and aspirations.
How do you find balance with a career as demanding as yours?
It is difficult. I take one day at a time, repeat the Serenity Prayer , express my gratitude for the people I know and the victories we achieve together.
What is your favorite book?
Anything by Michael Connelly
What do you when you are not saving the world?
Watch television, enjoy activities with my family
What are your comfort foods?
Cup custard, pecan pie, rice pudding
Who is your favorite musician?
The musicians that come up on Pandora Radio on my “Jerry Butler” station