Walter Fields

Walter Fields has led and been involved in several community initiatives to support Black youth and has been particularly concerned with the academic achievement of young Black males and strategies focused on violence reduction. He is a firm believer that all change is rooted in local organizing and action. 

These efforts have included creating the Tri-City Anti-Violence Network, a year and a half effort in his hometown of Hackensack New Jersey to reduce tensions between local Black males and those in the neighboring communities of Teaneck and Englewood. In the aftermath of the killing in 1990 of a 15-year-old Black male, Phillip Pannell, by a white Teaneck New Jersey police officer, Fields planned the Bergen County Youth Leadership Summit to give youth in the county a voice in their communities. As an outgrowth of the summit, he conceived the Summer Jobs for Summer Youth program that the Bergen County Private Industries Council and the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted as a summer jobs program. He also chaired the youth task force of the Bergen County Human Relations Commission.

As a resident of Maplewood New Jersey, he created a Summer Workshop for Black Boys and created the Black Parents Workshop to advocate for Black children in the public school district of South Orange-Maplewood. Upon relocating to Maryland, Fields became Co-Chairperson of the Advisory Council of Strong Schools Maryland. He is also currently serving as a consultant to the Morgan State University School of Education and Urban Studies and working on the launch of a new research center focused on eliminating educational disparities.  

He continues to invest his time and energy into youth development and is always looking for opportunities to serve young people.