As you may have noticed, our home page has a new section called the Baltimore Justice Report. Since the death of the Freddie Gray and the uprising that followed, OSI-Baltimore has worked to support the blooming local movement that, in connection with the broader Black Lives Matter movement, is looking for ways to address long-ignored issues facing our city.
The fires and looting that took place on April 27 and 28 were looped by cable TV stations around the world for days, leading many to focus exclusively on what are generally called the Baltimore riots. We prefer to focus on the weeks of protests and marches, the mobilization of thousands of Baltimoreans into a movement to change the status quo. This movement, which we call the Baltimore Uprising, involved many, many more people that the brief spasm of violence, and has the potential to create lasting change. OSI-Baltimore wants to help facilitate that change.
In May, we launched the Baltimore Justice Fund specifically to support focused interventions to improve police accountability and police-community relationships, reduce the number of Baltimoreans caught up in the criminal system, and engage Marylanders, especially young people, in advocacy for programs and policies to increase opportunity and racial justice. And just this month, we announced our first round of grants from the fund, as reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The Baltimore Justice Report is intended to build on that ongoing work, to facilitate conversation between citizens, activists, nonprofits, foundations, elected officials, police—really all Baltimoreans and anyone beyond who cares about our city—to focus on building on the lessons of the Baltimore Uprising. Every day, you’ll find stories that relate to the problems that the uprising brought to the surface and efforts to address them. We hope you’ll follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join in the conversation.