I consider Baltimore home. I spent many of my college and most of my adult formative years there. With the recent riots after the death of Freddy Gray in police custody, Baltimore has come to represent many of the ills of our society. These include the issues of violence, racial discrimination, lack of education, disenfranchisement, unemployment, and much more.

Baltimore is a city with a population of just over 600,000, of which over 63 percent are Black, a poverty rate of more than twice that of the state of Maryland, an unemployment rate of more than three percentage points higher than the rest of the state and many more under the surface challenges.

In light of the many challenges faced by cities such as Baltimore, there are also many opportunities. There are many high-quality educational institutions in the city, including, the world renowned Johns Hopkins University and two quality Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) — Morgan State University (my alma mater) and Coppin State University. These institutions are oases in a dessert of despair, hope in a quagmire of hopelessness, opportunity in the midst of numerous difficulties. When it’s all said and done, the solution is EDUCATION in all its forms. That is what made a difference for me and my family.

I will be presenting on “Baltimore” as part of our Current Affairs Series on May 27 at noon in the Dining Room. Please come an informative discussion about opportunities and challenges in an ever-changing world.


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