• Open Today: #ThisIsBaltimore

    Today, April 27, marks the one-year anniversary of the Baltimore Uprising. The day after, while images of police in riot gear, smoke- and teargas-filled streets, and a CVS on fire were flashing across television screens around the world, a group of students were busy capturing a Baltimore largely ignored by the media outside the city. […]

  • OSI Justice Fund Grantee “On the Watch” Gets National Attention on All Things Considered

    OSI Justice Fund grantee “On the Watch,” is a year-long newsroom series focusing on police accountability and community police relations that airs on Baltimore National Public Radio affiliate WYPR. This weekend, NPR aired a compilation of the work WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden has been doing about police and community relations for “On the Watch” on […]

  • Pratt Library CEO and Former OSI Board Member Carla Hayden Clears First Hurdle to Becoming Librarian of Congress

    Yesterday, Dr. Carla D. Hayden, CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and former OSI-Baltimore advisory board member, cleared her first Senate confirmation hearing as President Obama’s nominee to librarian of Congress. If confirmed, Hayden will be the first African American as well as the first woman to head the Library of Congress. Sens. Barbara […]

  • Baltimore and the “Enduring Neighborhood Effect”

    In 2012 the concepts of “neighborhood” and “community” have made a big comeback in the language of law enforcement in Baltimore. January saw Baltimore State’s Attorney  roll out his plan for “community prosecutors.” Instead of having prosecutors take cases from across the city, district attorneys would now focus only on specific “zones” in Baltimore, with […]

  • Making our communities stronger

    Every day, countless black men wake up in Baltimore and do their part to strengthen their communities. They run small businesses, mentor youth, volunteer at religious institutions, and raise their families. They are artists, coaches, students, fathers—regular guys from all walks of life—who contribute to their neighborhoods and change them for the better.

  • If kids count, why not get them out of harm’s way?

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kid’s Count numbers are out, and once again they expose the hidden shame of the wealthiest state in the world’s richest nation. Maryland ranks only 23rd in child wellbeing, far behind similar affluent East Coast states like Massachusetts (3rd), New Jersey (5th), Connecticut (6th) and our neighbor and business rival, Virginia (14th). With the nation’s best schools, second lowest child poverty rate, and the lowest rate of black children in poverty, why does Maryland rank so low?

  • The power of music to build communities

    Leonard Bernstein was a thinker, teacher, author, television star, provocateur, humanitarian and he was my hero. As with all true mentors, Bernstein taught me much more than a craft. He showed me the enormous power of music and how important it is to share it with as much of humanity as is possible.

  • Help people stay in their homes

    Recognizing the solutions are complex, one of the issues we are tackling today along with our partners in the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition is how best to intervene earlier in the foreclosure process. For the health of our city neighborhoods, we recognize the need to help people stay in their homes, whether homeowners or renters.

  • Scholars for a New Baltimore: Uniting Local Resources for Community Building

    This week we commemorate the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of my first childhood memories is of sitting in the kitchen of my grandparents’ west Baltimore home watching my family react to the breaking news of Dr. King’s assassination. I was only 3-years-old, but their reaction, and the fires, which destroyed blocks not far from our home, made me certain that something had gone terribly wrong.

  • We can end homelessness, and create jobs, too

    Baltimore is a city of staggeringly disappointing statistics: 11 percent official unemployment with several communities ravaged by real unemployment above 30 percent; 25 percent poverty which is 15 percent higher than the state of Maryland and 10 percent higher than the national poverty rate; approximately 4,000 homeless residents sleep outdoors or in shelters daily…