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The Future of Baltimore Conversation & Solutions: How We Got to Where We Are as a City

On Thursday, October 1, 2015, The Center for Urban Families (CFUF) hosted a Community Conversation – The Future of Baltimore, at New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore City, MD. This Community Conversation is one of a three part series focused on addressing current issues and possible solutions in Baltimore City.  President and CEO, Joseph Jones began the event with a brief history of CFUF and their successful programs focused on fatherhood and achieving economic success for families.

Among the attendees were city residents, various community stakeholders and local officials including Commander of Western District – Major Sheree Briscoe. Attendee’s thoughts and reactions were captured in a survey developed to assist in planning the next action steps surround the future of Baltimore topic discussed during the conversation. 

The event consisted of a brief historical presentation on race relations in Baltimore by Dr. Elizabeth Nix, Assistant Professor at the University of Baltimore, co-author of Baltimore '68: Riots and Rebirth in an American City. The presentation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Verña Myers, Founder & President of the Verña Myers Company. The panelists were as follows:
Barry Lancaster, CFUF program graduate
Senator Catherine Pugh of the 40th legislative district
Nathaniel Freeman, Community Activist
Barbra Samuels, Attorney for ACLU of Maryland’s Fair Housing Project

Dr. Nix’s powerful presentation on the history of race relations in Baltimore city touched on the impacts of the influx of industry in the harbor due to its location on the Chesapeake Bay and the presence of a large black population prior to 1830. The presentation provided the panelist and audience with a detailed timeline of the development of racially motivated policies and systematic oppression of blacks between 1830 and 1968. 

Panelist spoke about their reactions to Dr. Nix presentation and purposed next steps such as: 
Developing more holistic programs for community members
Revitalizing neighborhoods
Reinvesting incarceration funds back into communities for enrichment programs and services
Holding politicians accountable for expected changes in policy and programming  

The event closed with members of the audience purposing many solutions with the common theme of empowering the residents of Baltimore City. Suggestions often focused on resource allocation to communities in need. A few audience members highlighted programs and organizations already doing great work in Baltimore. Others spoke of the importance in knowing what resources are available to communities and how to best utilize existing services. A more connected Baltimore will be able to serve and grow more efficiently and sustainably. Click here to view video footage. 

This event was the first of a three part Community Conversations Series. The next event in the series,  "The Future of Baltimore- Conversations & Solutions: How Can We Improve Relationships Between Our Community and Law Enforcement?", will take place on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at the New Shiloh Baptist Church in Baltimore, Md. Click here to learn more and register. 

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Jan 28
We would like to thank all of you who came out to our Chat & Chew information session this past Wednesday. For tho…
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