OSI-Baltimore Director Danielle Torain sat down with The Daily Record as part of a series of interviews launched during the newspaper’s “Young, Black, Homegrown and Leading in Baltimore” webinar.
Torain, who joined OSI in January, talked about how being a Black woman and Baltimore native shaped her view of the city and her work. “When you’re in the boardroom and you’re analyzing data, and talking about policy and practice solutions, and talking about what’s actually happening, very often for me I’m thinking about my own family, my own friends, people that I would I was mentored by, young people who have been lost over time,” she said. “My hope is that we see an even more diverse array of Black and brown leadership in the city that really represents the range of perspectives on solutions, the range of perspectives on how to analyze root causes.”
She also talked about how Baltimore’s history shaped current struggles. “Baltimore once was a national leader in racist and segregationist policy, and ‘structural reform,” she said. “It’s that legacy, that history, and that rooting in those racist policies that set the road map for Baltimore that we see playing out present day.”