ANNETTE R. MARCH-GRIER
Annette R. March-Grier is President and Co-Founder of Roberta’s House, a globally recognized nonprofit grief support center based in Baltimore, MD. Roberta’s House provides grief education, peer support groups, and grief camps to children, adults, and families in underserved communities in Maryland.
After recognizing the disparity of unresolved grief and loss in urban communities in which the tragic loss of a loved one was common, Annette Co-Founded Roberta’s House in 2008 along with the March family to address the needs of unresolved grief. The grief center was named after the March family’s matriarch, the late Julia Roberta March (2006), who was co-founder of the March family business -- March Funeral Homes. Roberta’s House was birthed in the city of Baltimore from a community outreach service “A Time of Sharing”, a bereavement program established by March Funeral Homes and managed by Annette, for more than 25 years.
With very little financial resources, and high demand for services, Annette successfully spearheaded the development of the well sought programs offered by Roberta’s House. Committed to her calling to help the bereaved, she grew Roberta’s House, a volunteer driven organization, and expanded its services by obtaining city and state grants, as well as foundation support. Most recently she launched the first Homicide Survivor Advocacy Program in Baltimore City in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention and the Baltimore City Police Homicide Division. Since 2008, more than 2300 children (ages 5-17) and individuals have benefited from the center’s free programs. Annette staff consist of licensed professionals and over 300 volunteers which she personally trained to carry out more than seven different programs offered at Roberta’s House. The grief center also provides educational workshops, volunteer trainings, internships for mental health professionals and community support programs.
A successor and Vice President of the nationally recognized March Funeral Homes, one of the largest family owned and operated African American funeral service providers, Annette raised in her family’s funeral home business, was instilled with a sense of compassion for the bereaved and a heart for working with the community. By profession, Annette a registered nurse, is also licensed as a mortician, following the family tradition of morticians which began with her father William C. March, and mother J. Roberta March. She is the youngest of four siblings who maintain the family’s history of nearly 60 years of excellence in serving families from locations in Baltimore, MD, Camp Springs, MD, Suitland, MD, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. The March family also own a cemetery, King Memorial Park, located in Baltimore County, MD.
Annette graduated from the University Of Delaware School Of Nursing in 1982. She then worked for Johns Hopkins Hospital for three years, and the Visiting Nurse Association of Baltimore part-time, for 8yrs. In 1985, she returned to her family business to work with her parents and siblings and attained a mortuary science degree from the Community College of Baltimore County before becoming a licensed mortician. Her responsibilities included marketing and community outreach.
A pioneer in the bereavement care industry, Annette has always advocated for the needs of bereaved children and families. While seeking her passion, she discovered the parallels of her patient teaching skills in funeral service by facilitating bereavement support groups in the community. As the need arose, she expanded the program by conducting training and educational seminars throughout local churches and family service agencies. The March Funeral Home’s bereavement program soon became a vital resource to the entire community for referrals and grief expertise.
Annette March-Grier is amongst a prestigious list of 2014 Top 10 'CNN Heroes. Her notable work to help grieving children, families and adults in underserved areas of Baltimore, and its surrounding counties, cope with tragedy and the loss of someone close is currently being featured on CNN, the world-wide leader in news for changing the world.
Annette’s family is a long time member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church. She married her childhood sweetheart 28 years ago, Arthur D. Grier. Together they have three children, Justin, Christian and Julia Grier.
Visionary and Founder of YPEP (Youth Protection, Empowerment & Protection) in 1996, as Vice President with the Harbor City Chapter of the Links, Inc. This three day youth convention addressed anti-violence for 1500 youth at the Baltimore Convention Center. Out of this summit was named a new youth initiative under the Baltimore Community Foundation’s leadership called Safe & Sound.
Co-chaired the “Baltimore’s Promise” in which Baltimore families and concerned citizens voted to prioritized efforts to improve the health and safety of youth.
Organized a Family Homicide Survivors Conference-2010,” for Baltimore at Morgan State University. The conference was supported by the Office of Victims of Crime, and many other local family services and health agencies.
Guidance Advisory Committee for Baltimore City Schools, she spearheaded and chaired a conference on “Developing Support Systems for Traumatized Students in the Classroom”, for the guidance counselors and school administrators.
Appointed to the State Board of Morticians in 1995 by Governor Parris Glendening and remained until 2003.
Top Ten CNN Hero Award 2014
The Daily Record’s 2014 Maryland Top 100 Women Award, 5/2014
Reginald F. Lewis Museum Community Award 2014
Governor’s Victim Assistance Award 2014 for outstanding contributions to the field of victim services
Bethel AME, Fannie Coppin Community Empowerment Award 5/12/2014
Coppin State University, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Award, 5/2011
For outstanding efforts for Our Youth in the Community
M&T, Fox 45, Champion of Courage Award, 2010 for establishing Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center
Morgan State University Alumni, Community Service Award, 2013
2nd Annual SISTERS Restoration Award 2012
100 Black Women in Funeral Service Award for Education Program of the Year-Aftercare Program Providing Hope & Healing for Grieving Families- 2011-12
Dream4 It Foundation Community Service Award 2010
Certified as a Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) by the Academy of Professional Funeral Services in 2001
Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Class of 2014
Former Trustee, Board Member, Sheppard Pratt Health System
Member, Former V.P., Harbor City Chapter of the Links Inc.,
Member of Association of Death Educators & Counselors
Member, Former President of Parish Counsel, St. Ann Catholic Church
Member National Funeral Directors Association
Member American Cemetery Association
Former Member of the Guidance Advisory Committee for Baltimore City Schools
Former Second Vice President, Maryland State Board of Morticians
Former Advisory Board Member of the Family Bereavement Center of Baltimore Maryland
President, Roberta's House Inc.
Vice President, Marcorp Ltd,/March Funeral Homes
5719 York Road
Baltimore, MD 21212