Our People

Joe Burris

Program Officer

“I remember my mother telling me: ‘Keep stretching your arms for learning. Someday, somebody will ask you to show how long they are, and they won’t ask their color.’” Samuel F. Yette

I believe there are few things more powerful than communication. There is strength in the ability to convey one’s thoughts and listen to others, and I’m glad to use that skill in this work every day. I contribute to the Foundation’s mission by helping our grantees realize their goals of bringing equity, justice, fairness and (in many cases) sanity into the political and economic systems that run this country.

One of the most important positions I’ve held is education reporter for the Baltimore Sun. The job taught me is that anyone who is certain of what it takes to fix an ailing school probably hasn’t spent much time in one.

The lessons learned from working at MCF are invaluable. What is truly a sight to see in this work is people standing their ground. There is something about the we’re–not–going-anywhere disposition that’s infectious. I believe we help make that happen through advocacy, education and organizing.