Baltimore City Public Schools students and other Instagram users gathered online Saturday night for some socially distanced dancing during a virtual DJ Dance Party, an event designed to bring young people together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The dance party was sponsored by Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System, in partnership with the Baltimore City Health Department and the Mayor's Office of Children and Families. LaKebra Clark, a former Baltimore City teacher also known as DJ Keebee, served as host and DJ.
The event helped raise awareness about COVID-19 and the risks the virus poses for young people and their loved ones. Participants received information about how to limit the spread of the virus through practices such as social distancing, regular cleaning, and frequent handwashing.
The dance party is just one piece of Johns Hopkins' coordinated efforts to support Baltimore's communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, in partnership with other city, community, faith, and business leaders. The effort has also included food distribution to communities in need; providing laptop computers to students at Henderson-Hopkins School; and launching a public-private partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System, CareFirst, and state and city government to integrate medical and public health strategies into a comprehensive education, testing, and treatment program.
"Johns Hopkins' connection to our Baltimore communities is essential to who we are," said Alicia Wilson, vice president for economic development at Johns Hopkins and chair of the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Anchor Strategy Workgroup. "During this unprecedented time, we know the importance of promoting good mental health and wellness in our families and for our young people while also creating positive outlets for our students. This DJ Dance Party embodies all of these goals."
Upcoming events for city youth include an Instagram Open Mic Poetry Night on Saturday, April 18, from 6-8 p.m. hosted by Lady Brion (@ladybspeaks).
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