Baltimore's unrest: Johns Hopkins responds

Last spring, turmoil in cities across the country and here in Baltimore sparked important conversations on our campuses about racial inequality and deep divisions that exist in our society.

In response, Johns Hopkins University has strengthened its commitment to providing economic and employment opportunities in Baltimore, and to discussing, investigating, and addressing critical underlying issues—police brutality, mass incarceration, separate and unequal schools, and an ever-growing wealth gap.

A message from Johns Hopkins leadership

President Ron Daniels

April 2016

This month marks the first anniversary of the tragic death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed. It was a moment that exposed gaping disparities within this city while bringing many of us together in common cause. As we approach this somber anniversary, we want to express our profound appreciation for the efforts you have undertaken over the past year to make our city stronger, and to encourage all of us to remember the critical work that still lies ahead.

Johns Hopkins’ commitment to Baltimore is not new—it was inherent in the founding of our institutions and in countless initiatives in the decades since. But over the past year, we’ve been inspired by the ways you have thought anew about our connections to Baltimore and aligned your work with the health of this city. Read more

Previous messages:

Johns Hopkins research

Before and after Baltimore’s unrest, our investigators have worked to better understand the underlying causes of inequality and the complexities of life in urban communities.

Redlining Baltimore
Focus on wealth disparities
Published April 21, 2016
Panelists discuss barriers to economic inclusion in Baltimore
A portrait of young lives in 'the other America'
Published April 19, 2016
Sociologists DeLuca, Edin take in-depth look at disparate paths of Baltimore youth in 'Coming of Age in the Other America'
Crime and policing
The 'Ferguson effect' and Baltimore crime
Published March 15, 2016
Arrests declined but crime did not increase in months before April 2015 unrest, researchers find
Hearing Their Voices
Tuning in to what young city residents have to say
Published Aug 20, 2015
Project gives young people in Baltimore a chance to share their stories in wake of Freddie Gray's death, resulting unrest
21st Century Cities
Rapid response in wake of Baltimore unrest
Published May 11, 2015
JHU researchers launch 8 new projects investigating activities, dynamics that may have played roles in recent violence
Long shadow of a poor start
Published Winter 2014
For 25 years, Hopkins sociologist Karl Alexander and his colleague followed the lives of 790 children growing up in a variety of Baltimore neighborhoods. / Johns Hopkins Magazine
Leaving here
New home, new outlook
Published March 21, 2014
Escaping poor neighborhoods can change a family's perspective, study suggests
Racial food deserts
Published Spring 2014
When it comes to having healthy food options in a neighborhood, the racial composition matters. / Johns Hopkins Magazine

Community-focused programs

Our efforts in Baltimore—efforts that took on greater urgency following the events of April 2015—are rooted in the knowledge that the health and well-being of our university are inextricably tied to the physical, social, and economic well-being of the city we call home.

Hopkins, others pledge to invest $69M in programs to build, hire, buy locally
Published April 4, 2016 Video
Johns Hopkins among 25 businesses teaming up to expand economic opportunities in Baltimore
Police partnership
An evidence-based approach to fighting crime
Published Feb 22, 2016 Video
Hopkins researchers, Baltimore police to work together to study, reduce violent crime
Hospital jobs plan OK'd
Published Dec 10, 2015
Program could create 375 new jobs at Md. hospitals, including Johns Hopkins / The Baltimore Sun
School-to-industry pipeline for Md. students
Published Nov 23, 2015
Johns Hopkins shows interest in serving as corporate partner for P-TECH program in Baltimore
New initiative aimed at strengthening city
Published Sept 30, 2015 Video
Effort will promote economic growth, increase employment opportunities in Baltimore
Summer jobs program for Baltimore youth expands
Published June 4, 2015
University, hospital, health system to employ 300 Baltimore City students this summer

Recent lectures and discussions

Over the past year, we have fostered an ongoing discussion about race, racism, and their effect on American life and culture, through the JHU Forums on Race in America and other events.

Redlining Baltimore
Tale of two Baltimores
Published April 14, 2016
Public health experts examine roots of city health disparities
Redlining Baltimore
Discussing discrimination, past and present
Published April 7, 2016
JHU's 21st Century Cities Initiative hosts first of four conversations on Baltimore's deep-seated race issues
Redlining Baltimore
Discrimination's deep roots
Published March 25, 2016
Four-event conversation series to explore legacy of discrimination in Baltimore
Flagpole protest
Taking down an 'intolerable' symbol
Published Feb 11, 2016 Video
Bree Newsome, who brought down Confederate flag in S.C., speaks at JHU
Race in America
Angela Davis urges new thinking on criminal justice
Published Feb 3, 2016
Activist, scholar addresses capacity crowd at Shriver Hall
Race in America
A broken system
Published Dec 2, 2015
America's broken criminal justice system is our 'greatest civil rights challenge,' filmmaker says
Book reading
For Ta-Nehisi Coates, a stirring return to Hopkins
Published Nov 20, 2015
A day after receiving National Book Award, author talks systemic racism, violence, activism
JHU Race Forum
On police brutality, 'the two black Americas'
Published Oct 29, 2015
'New York Times' journalist Charles Blow visits Homewood campus for second event in JHU Forums on Race in America series
Race in America forum
A conversation about racism, past and present
Published April 30, 2015
Acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks at inaugural JHU Forum on Race in America


Faculty experts and others from our community lend their voices to conversations about racial inequality and Baltimore’s April 2015 uprising.

BLocal can change local economic landscape
Published April 7, 2016
Initiative's co-chairs give overview of effort by 25 local businesses to create economic opportunities in Baltimore / The Baltimore Sun
Inequality after racism
Published Feb 17, 2015
Provost Lieberman, co-author examine how institutions hold back African-Americans / Foreign Affairs
A life full of injustices
Published May 7, 2015
What is unjust about what happened to Freddie Gray goes far beyond what happened on April 12
Black culture not the problem
Published May 1, 2015
JHU's Nathan Connolly on the economics behind Baltimore's unrest / The New York Times
A time bomb, divided
Published April 30, 2015
JHU's Lester Spence examines the tensions that precipitated Monday's unrest in Baltimore and offers solutions / New York Daily News
Bigger than Freddie Gray
Published April 29, 2015
JHU alum D. Watkins addresses uneasy relationship between Baltimore's black community, police / The New York Times