Our Purpose

Be the Change Bmore is a community of people committed to electing progressive candidates and supporting issues that strengthen our democracy and promote justice for all.We do this by meeting in-person and remotely to learn from experts about pressing issues and  inspiring candidates. We join with other organizations to sponsor and host concrete actions, such as letter-writing, canvassing or calling.

Be the Change founders Jennifer Downs and Betsy Krieger work collaboratively to direct the organization’s work. The organization has no paid staff.

Our History

Be the Change was formed in late 2017 by Jennifer Downs and Betsy Krieger, two activists from Baltimore who recognized the need to help people learn how to be active politically. The two women agreed to start an organization focused on educating others and creating new opportunities for people to get involved and make a difference. The key ingredients they decided: interesting speakers and good food. With that agreement, Be the Change was born.

Our Founders

Jennifer Downs is a licensed acupuncturist and RN, in practice for 40 years. As a complementary health care provider she loves to work with people in the healing process, to promote health on all levels and to empower them to take responsibility for their own well-being. These same principles inspired her to partner with Betsy Krieger to provide ways for people to learn about and take action towards making a difference in our world with a focus on progressive candidates and issues. 

Betsy Krieger has an Masters degree in Community Organizing from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a lifelong interest in social justice. Her professional and volunteer work focuses on increasing support for young families in Baltimore, and helping to elect people we can be proud to have represent us. Her belief that we have the ability to make the world better, inspired her to work with Jennifer to create Be the Change Bmore.

Like so many others, Betsy and I joined a national movement after the 2017 inauguration to protest Trump’s actions and to demand accountability from our elected leaders. Across the country hundreds of people rallied every Tuesday for the first 100 days of his administration. Though we couldn’t keep up this level of protest and had to get back to our daily routines, we knew we needed to stay active to minimize the damage this President could do. That fall, we created Be the Change to empower and educate ourselves, as we join with others to build the society we hope to see.” — Jennifer Downs, co-founder of Be the Change Bmore