Updated: Apr 29, 2020
By Felicia Reed
Maurissa Stone Bass is a social entrepreneur, change strategist, management consultant, facilitator, motivational speaker, executive coach, and a community development professional. Through Iona Concepts, Inc., a change management consulting firm founded in 1995, she directs The Living Well, a Center for Social and Economic Vibrancy located in Baltimore City. The Living Well operates as a co-operative of healing practitioners and social justice agents of change.
Her astounding professional career started after receiving her Master’s Degree from the historic Lincoln University where her bachelors was waived for her to participate in the trail blazing Master of Human Services program where she studied systematic change in organizations, systems and communities.
Maurissa has taught Nonprofit Management as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Baltimore College of Public Affairs. She also provides training and technical assistance for local, national and State and Federal government agencies.
She is a mother of Tyjia her 18 year old scholar and athlete and the wife of Michael Bass. She recently received the Impact Award from the Fashion Umbrella Foundation and a Black Wall Street Award from BmoreNews. Maurissa has been recognized by the City of Baltimore for 10 years of serving residents. She enjoys mentoring, coaching, traveling and the healing arts. Ms. Stone Bass spends her time between Baltimore and Shepherdstown West Virginia where she resides with her family
Maurissa grew up with a mother who was well read and provided real life insight on what it means to be an advocate for a child with a learning disability, to live as a Black female within a White social construct as a military family living on a military base in the 1970s. More importantly, Maurissa is the daughter of a mother who insisted she understand the impact of self-awareness of being a strong Black female while teaching her family the tenants of life and employing the value of service to God and fellow humans.
Maurissa has spent her years as a proponent for social justice working across various support and resourceprofessions. She has worked with females who are homeless, managed a shelter, worked with youth at risk, persons with disabilities and persons who were incarcerated. Maurissa provided life coaching for women housed in the Women's Detention Center in Baltimore City. Her early learnings of observing social systems that employ power dynamics to undermine Black social uplift was the painful problem she set up to find solutions for.
After working for over 25 years in the nonprofit and academic setting, Maurissa leveraged her personal savings to build out a Center for Social and Economic Vibrancy known as The Living Well. After the years of serving the community by providing access to competent space (safe, accessible, affordable and healing). Maurissa, continues to build on her dream of creating safe space and has joined the Design Angels of America as a Healing Community Associate. She will soon launch a Social Entrepreneurship capacity building training & technical assistance cohort with her Platform partners, where budding social justice agents will receive training, coaching, thought leadership and access to a space to enhance their competency areas such as logic models, strategic goals, marketing, trans media to name a few.
Maurissa admits that she often refers to the wit and powerful wisdom of her late mother along with other Sheroancestors who were brave disrupters for the movement of uplifting oneself and others. She believes that holding safe space is important for our survival and healing. Owning our social spaces are important but being conscious and aware of power dynamics operating with the social mission industry is extremely important. In order to shift power dynamics, one must understand how power is used to undermine individuals and communities. It's important to recognize that all social determinants of health are impacted by structural systems that possess the DNA of its past. Baltimore City is one of many localities that used racial covenants to undermine communities.
Maurissa is not interested in empowering others as much as having others seizing their own power. Gone are the days when we need to ask for permission to heal our souls and create economic opportunities for ourselves, families and communities. Maurissa believes in healing deep rooted female –oriented generational issues to move forward with self-empowerment.
About Felicia Reed
Felicia Reed is a Certified Life, Spiritual and Christian Coach, Mastermind Team Leader, Speaker, Healer and Quality Professional. She is an award winning fiber artist using art as a modality to support others on their healing journeys. Ms. Reed works with survivors of abuse and trauma through her entity, Put It In Perspective.