2021 DAC Spotlight

Tyrone Roper, MSW

April 2021Tyrone Roper, MSW

Director of the Community Engagement Center is making a lasting impact on campus and in the community.

Tyrone Roper, MSW, director of the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Community Engagement Center (CEC), is involved in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work on a daily basis. Roper doesn’t start a conversation without making sure everyone is involved. Since arriving at the CEC in early 2020, Roper decided to put community leaders in leadership positions to allow their voices to be heard and involve them in every phase of the decision-making process.

Roper and the Office of Community Engagement (OCE) opened the newly renovated CEC on South Poppleton Street in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and serves the Southwest Baltimore community every day. During the height of the pandemic, he distributed resources and information to our underserved community members. He leveraged donations of food, personal protective equipment, diapers, formula, and more to ensure that UMB’s neighbors had what they needed.

Roper meets after hours with community members and stakeholders to ensure that the CEC is as inclusive and diverse as possible in its programming and staffing. He initiated and facilitated conversations in the CEC on how to talk about DEI issues and concerns, and he continues to take action on areas in which the CEC and the University can improve. Roper has demonstrated unprecedented leadership in arguably one of the most difficult years the community has faced and reinforces that the University is valuable resource accessible to all.

Madison Haas, MSW ’20, economic inclusion coordinator, OCE, and an alumnus of UMB’s School of Social Work (UMSSW), says Roper supported all of the Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods during the height of the pandemic. He consistently distributed resources and information that helped keep UMB’s neighbors safe and informed. He also created and sustained virtual programming for community members, some of whom are extremely isolated due to the pandemic.

Roper has an associate director, Danielle Harris, LCSW-C ’06, also a UMSSW alumnus, who is helping to move many community projects forward relating to supporting neighbors with food insecurities. Harris is passionate about equity and is excited to work on a team that partners with the community to ensure access to opportunities and services that our community neighbors request.

Roper is a light in the middle of a dark time for faculty, staff, students, and the community.

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