Inspiration, Wisdom Community Voices: “Baltimore Isn’t Made of Quitters” We reached out to the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation in Baltimore to ask them: What makes you optimistic for your community? Where do you see the path forward? By Wanderlust The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based nonprofit committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Wanderlust reached out to the founders of Holistice Life — Andres Gonzalez, Atman Smith, and Ali Smith — to ask them: In the face of all that is going on in your community, what makes you optimistic? Where do you see the path forward? Here is their response: Baltimore has been portrayed in an awful light because of what has occurred these past few weeks surrounding the Freddie Gray case. Our city has been described as a community with no hope. A community filled with violent thugs. Yet this is where our optimism lies: We know how the citizens of Baltimore will react. We know that the people of this fine city won’t settle for being called “hopeless” or “thugs.” We know that the pride they have for this wonderful city will only unite us to become better and stronger. We already saw it on the Tuesday after the riots, when people of all colors, and from different communities, came together in the early morning to clean up their city. We saw it when hundreds united and marched peacefully downtown. We saw it when people brought water, supplies, and cooked food for those in need. And we saw it when over a hundred people of different races, classes, and cultures all came together and meditated for love and peace for our city. So at a time when many people would throw in the towel and give up on their city because it is burning, we are optimistic. Because that’s what Baltimore is. Baltimore isn’t made of quitters. It is made up of hard working, loving, and compassionate, charming people. And now the world has given us a platform to show the true side of Baltimore. Love is the strongest force in the universe, and we will use it to show everyone that what our benches say is true: Baltimore The Greatest City in America Learn more about Andres, Atman, and Ali and their work at hlfinc.org and by watching the video below: The Holistic Life Foundation is a Baltimore-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities. Through a comprehensive approach which helps children develop their inner lives through yoga, mindfulness, and self-care HLF demonstrates deep commitment to learning, community, and stewardship of the environment. HLF is also committed to developing high-quality evidence based programs and curriculum to improve community well-being.