Bridging the Gap Between Two Baltimores

May 22, 2015    |  

How do you bridge the gap between two Baltimores?

That was the question the Baltimore Business Journal asked 11 civic and business leaders in Baltimore. Their answers, published in the paper's May 22, 2015, edition, included this response by UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD:

The two Baltimores are divided along the same lines that divide many American cities — wealth and investment on one side, poverty and neglect on the other. The gap underlying this entrenched inequality is opportunity — opportunity to achieve in school, get a good job, own one’s home, and advance community revitalization.

Anchor institutions like the University of Maryland, Baltimore have a critical role in reconciling the two Baltimores. UMB employs thousands of people and spends millions of dollars on goods and services. But keeping jobs and dollars in the neighborhoods surrounding our campus means we have to help educate a population that can take advantage of the opportunities we offer.

We must have high-quality schools in every neighborhood, led by effective principals who partner with anchor institutions, nonprofits, and businesses, and leverage these relationships to enrich the academic experience. UMB is starting a program to prepare West Baltimore students for careers in Maryland’s thriving biosciences and health sciences sectors. We have a program in Upton/Druid Heights, partnering with the community to support children from birth to young adulthood. Education is what underpins sustainable equality in employment, income, and opportunity — and this is where we must invest our time and resources.

Read the whole story on the Baltimore Business Journal's website.