Idea Lab projects focus on leadership and community building, de-escalation, career skills

Six more project proposals selected by committees to receive funding

Six more projects submitted this spring to the Idea Lab, Johns Hopkins' online crowdsourcing platform, have been selected to receive funding, joining five other proposals that will be funded because they received the most online votes.

A committee selected three proposals from among the many that were submitted to the Ten by Twenty Challenge, which is issued each year by JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and draws its themes from the priorities outlined in the university's vision for the future. This year the challenge called for ideas to foster individual excellence.

  • Project Charmify (JHED login required for project links), a nonprofit initiative run by JHU undergraduates, will teach high school students from Baltimore's Old Town neighborhood leadership and community development skills and then help them create programs that support community needs in underutilized spaces. Activities may include an outdoor movie night, a community garden, and workshops to coincide with the neighborhood's open air market. The Project Charmify team has already completed a pilot program with support from JHU's Social Innovation Lab. They said in their proposal they will use the $20,000 funding from the Ten by Twenty Challenge to move to the next phase and "help those who grew up in Baltimore realize their potential to become the city's next generation of community leaders."

  • Baltimore is also the focus of 7 in the City: A Multimedia Journalism Project, which will receive $10,000 to create films and written profiles that explore what it is like to be a 7-year-old growing up in the city. The two-semester class will involve students from the Krieger School's Advanced Academic Program's MA in Writing and MA in Science Writing programs, Morgan State University's School of Global Journalism, and JHU's Department of Film and Media Studies, and will look specifically at public health issues, race, class, and educational and economic disparities.

  • Staff of the Sheridan Libraries proposed Mining and Dining: Exploring Text Mining Tools in a Fun Setting in response to feedback from graduate students suggesting that it would be helpful to their careers to better understand the tools and methodologies of textual analysis. With $2,367 in Idea Lab funding, library staff will organize a series of informal workshops over lunch to introduce participants to digital scholarship tools.

Three more winners were also chosen to receive $2,500 Diversity Innovation Grants, which are awarded by the Diversity Leadership Council using the Idea Lab as a submission platform.

  • The Student Research Ambassador Program seeks to address the underrepresentation of students from diverse and low-income backgrounds in academic research. It will be administered by the Krieger School's director of undergraduate research and will create a network of graduate and undergraduate researchers who share information on finding faculty mentors, locating funding, and writing proposals with peers, among other topics.

  • Members of the Black Faculty and Staff Association and JHU students plan to provide a De-escalation Workshop to students in Baltimore City public schools and after-school programs. According to the proposal, "The rate of catastrophic deaths for our city youth increases as the weather turns warm, and many are left on their own without supervision while their parents are working." The workshop will discuss how the police assess threats and how to communicate with police and others to calm a situation.

  • The Information Hub for Latinos will be part of the Hopkins Latino Alliance Community Initiative and will collect information and resources on a new website and app. The project team said in its proposal it will work with Johns Hopkins-affiliated organizations and community leaders to gather information on events, scholarships, grants, summer opportunities, affinity groups, and health promotion.

All of the 2017 submissions and comments are available with a JHED login credential on the Idea Lab website.

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