So my office at Camden Yards in downtown Baltimore has been closed since Monday at 11, and it finally reopened today. I was greeted by stadium parking lots full of the National Guard and police forces from up and down the East Coast.
Disconcerting to say the least.
I have a lot to say about what's been going on in my hometown, the city where I now live and work, but I won't get into it here (you know how to find me). Rather, I'd encourage you to educate yourself on the issues -- ALL the issues -- from the dynamic between police in citizens across the country to what it might be like to ACTUALLY live in a riot zone.
Really people, use your BRAINS.
I'm sick of people shitting on this city's black residents, white residents, police force, government, and everything in between. So we're going to finish out the week, honoring Baltimore with the work of MICA graduate and super talented friend of Jen, Amanda Milliner. Many of the photos in the slideshow below are also from her time at MICA, living in Baltimore's Bolton Hill, not far from North Avenue, where many of this week's protests and riots have taken place.
In the meantime, I encourage you to educate yourselves and have some respect for the Baltimore community before you spout off all over social media. And for ongoing coverage, I'd highly recommend following the Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton before Fox News or CNN.
Here's to what I hope will be the beginning of healing in Baltimore.
Note from Jen: There are a few pictures at the end of the slideshow that are of my family members in Baltimore back in the day. My family moved to the city four generations ago and has lived in and around the city ever since. I went to college there, my parents went to college there, and my great grandparents ran butcher shops there (which explains my 15+ years as a vegetarian?!). I have strong ties to the city even though I no longer call it my home. I felt helpless being so far away for the past week. Luckily, there are a few ways that you (and I) can help out the community there whether you live in Baltimore or not.
Help Clean Up West Baltimore: Donate money to help the rebuilding effort.
The Metro Gallery: will host a benefit concert May 20 at 7 p.m. with all proceeds donated to Baltimore Community Foundation's Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore.
Volunteer: A private citizen created a public Google form and spreadsheet where groups can request volunteers and volunteers can locate opportunities to help. The form, titled “Baltimore: Where is help needed?”, collects information about volunteer needs, including dates, times, locations and the number of people needed, and uses that information to populate a spreadsheet.