On this special edition of Midday, six reflections on the April 27, 2015 Uprising, and how the community at the epicenter of that unrest - Sandtown-Winchester - has fared since a 25-year old black man named Freddie Gray died from injuries he sustained while in police custody. At the heart of the protests and the rioting that erupted after Gray's funeral: anger and frustration with a system steeped in racism, inequity and apathy; and a police force that operated with seeming impunity...
(Special Election Notice - 7th Congressional District - Click to Read)
We begin with a focus on how community-police relations have evolved since 2015: Tom talks with Ashiah Parker, chief executive officer of the Sandtown-based community development group, No Boundaries Coalition. Ms. Parker is also a member of the Maryland Commission to Restore Trust in Policing, a State commission formed to examine the culture of corruption that allowed the Gun Trace Task Force criminal enterprise to thrive for years. Tom also speaks with Sean Yoes, Baltimore Editor of the Afro American Newspaper and author of the book, Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories from One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities.
Then, a focus on the rich cultural and commercial history of West Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, which runs from Penn North, the epicenter of the 2015 unrest, down to MLK Jr Blvd, skirting Sandtown and Uptown along the way. Tom's guests are Brion Gill, the executive director of the new Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts and Entertainment District; and Jim Hamlin, a community native and founding proprietor of The Avenue Bakery on Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the final segment, two more perspectives from an innovative community development group that’s been working for more than two decades to move Sandtown forward. Tom talks with Todd Marcus, community activist, jazz musician and executive director of the non-profit Intersection of Change, and with Daria Baylis, coordinator for IOC’s Jubilee Arts training and cultural programs, which have engaged tens of thousands of West Baltimore teens and adults over the years.
Audio for this program will be posted by 2pm today.