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Race in Baltimore: A Second Discussion
In response to the protests surrounding the tragic death of Freddie Gray, the University Student Government Association and the Office of Student Affairs organized a forum in early May titled "A Discussion About Race in Baltimore." Faculty, staff, and students gathered to listen, learn, and have an open, honest, and sometimes difficult conversation about racism in Baltimore. Some audience members provided personal testimonies about their experiences of racism both on- and off-campus.
The discussion delved into the impact of poverty, and the importance of institutions, like UMB, cultivating meaningful relationships with the community. My role in the forum was to listen and learn, and in response to what I heard, I charged UMB's Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) to review the transcript from the forum, and provide comprehensive recommendations on how to address these concerns.
The DAC created a working group to review carefully the transcript, identify themes, and provide recommendations for my consideration. A Universitywide town hall meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 28, at 11 a.m. in the School of Nursing Auditorium to inform the UMB community of the DAC's recommendations. We also will discuss next steps to address these important issues.
I look forward to continuing this critical and necessary conversation with you.
Jay A. Perman, MD