Tom Hall

Host - Maryland Morning, Choral Arts Classics, In The Bromo and What Are You Reading

Tom has been a dynamic force in Maryland since 1982, as a broadcaster, performer, lecturer, writer, and educator. Tom was named "Best Radio Personality" by the City Paper in 2009, and in 2006, he was named "Best New Journalist" by the Maryland chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  Tom began his WYPR career as a co-host of Dupont-Columbia University award-winning Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast from 2006 - October 2015.  Also in 2006, he won an Emmy Award for his television broadcast of Christmas with Choral Arts on WMAR Television.  As the Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, he has collaborated with many of Maryland's leading arts organizations, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Maryland Symphony, the Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. For many years, he appeared regularly as a guest conductor throughout the U.S and in Europe, and he has been invited frequently to speak to professional and community organizations in Maryland and throughout the United States.

Tom has published articles in the Baltimore Sun, Style Magazine, and many professional music journals; he has served as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts, and he has lectured and taught courses at the Peabody Conservatory, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, and Morgan State University. He is a former board member and former chair of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. Tom lives in Baltimore with his wife, Linell Smith.

Ramifications, repercussions and ruminations on two decisions: the acquittal of Officer Caesar Goodson in Baltimore, and the exit from the European Union in Great Britain. Prosecutors have failed to get convictions in the first three trials of officers charged in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray. What are their chances moving forward? How will the Goodson verdict affect the suits that five officers have filed against State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby? And what will the verdict mean for efforts to build trust between police and communities of color? Edward Smith, David Jaros, and WYPR’s Kenneth Burns join me for MM on the Law. 

Plus, the stunning Brexit vote in the UK. Sydney van Morgan, who directs the International Studies Program at Johns Hopkins, on what the vote to leave the EU means for those of us on this side of the pond.

This morning we're taking a closer look at Thursday's verdict in the trial of Officer Caesar Goodson -- the 17-year Baltimore police veteran who drove the van in which Freddie Gray suffered his fatal neck injury in April, 2015. Goodson was found not guilty of second-degree depraved-heart murder, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter by vehicles (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicles (criminal negligence) and reckless endangerment.

To unpack Judge Williams' verdict, we turn once again to our legal eagles, practicing attorney Edward Smith and University of Baltimore law professor David Jaros, and WYPR's own Kenneth Burns.  They all join Tom in-studio to discuss a trial that many legal experts had called the most significant of the six criminal trials related to the death of Freddie Gray.

Johns Hopkins University

The United Kingdom will depart the European Union after 52% of British, Irish and Commonwealth residents living in the UK cast their "leave" ballot in yesterday's referendum. Also eligible to vote were British citizens who left the UK within the past 15 years. Polls found that voters were torn on the decision, with the one side advocating that leaving the EU would secure borders, while the other side claimed that remaining in the EU would secure a strong economy.  Following the referendum, the EU will consist of 27 countries. 

The EU has evolved over many decades.  Its roots go back to shortly after World War II, when  Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands formed a union as they sought stability through increased trade.  The UK formally joined the coalition on Jan. 1, 1973.  Only two years later, the British held a referendum very similar to yesterday's vote -- and decided to remain in the union, which back then was called the European Economic Community, or EEC. It became the EU in 1993 when the Maastricht Treaty  came into effect; it also established the euro as the common currency used by most EU countries.  The UK never adopted the euro -- instead, it still uses the British pound. 

Sydney Van Morgan, director of the International Studies Program and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, joins Tom in-studio to discuss how the UK's decision to leave the EU might impact British-American relations.

Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun

Officer Caesar Goodson, one of the six Baltimore city police officers indicted in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, was acquitted Thursday of second-degree depraved-heart murder, second-degree assault, misconduct in office, involuntary manslaughter, manslaughter by vehicles (gross negligence), manslaughter by vehicles (criminal negligence) and reckless endangerment. In December, Officer William G. Porter's trial ended with a hung jury and last month Officer Edward Nero was acquitted of all charges including reckless endangerment and second-degree assault. 

Judge Barry Williams issued his verdict in the Goodson trial on Thursday morning. Maryland Morning host Tom Hall anchored special live coverage of the verdict. He was joined in-studio by lawyer F. Michael Higginbotham of University of Baltimore Law School and Ray Kelly, president of the No Boundaries Coalition. WYPR reporters P. Kenneth Burns and Rachel Baye provided live coverage from the city courthouse. 

Dave Wetty, Cloud Prime Photography

Dr. Carol Anderson, author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, joins Tom in-studio to discuss the reasons behind the racial divide in America. While some argue that the Uprising in Baltimore was a result black anger bubbling over after years of systemic and institutionalized racism, Anderson argues that the chasm between whites and people of color has been animated, throughout American history, by white reaction and opposition to any and all progress towards equality made by minorities.  To support her argument, Anderson points to the white southern reaction to reconstruction efforts following the Civil War, Supreme Court decisions in the 1970s that undermined Brown v. Board of Education, the war on drugs and ongoing voter suppression efforts. 

Then, Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel, and Evan Lutz, founder of Hungry Harvest join Tom to discuss efforts to end food waste. Hungry Harvest "recovers" discarded produce from local farms, food wholesalers, and packing houses and boxes and delivers it to paying subscribers. For every box purchased, the program also delivers fresh produce to a family in need. 

Dave Wetty, Cloud Prime Photography

Dr. Carol Anderson is the chair of the African-American Studies Department at Emory University, and the author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide

According to Anderson, racial discord and inequality in America is the product of white reaction and opposition to any progress made by people of color.  To support her argument, Anderson points to the white southern reaction to reconstruction efforts following the Civil War, Supreme Court decisions in the 1970s that undermined Brown v. Board of Education, the war on drugs and ongoing voter suppression efforts. 

Dr. Anderson joins Tom in-studio to discuss White Rage and how racial animus towards black and brown people in America perpetuates inequality. 

Monica Reinagel; Hungry Harvest

An estimated six billion pounds of produce are thrown away every year in the United States. That's enough to fill up four NFL stadiums. Half of that massive volume of fruits and vegetables doesn't even make it to grocery store shelves because commercial sorters and packers consider imperfectly shaped or slightly blemished produce to be too "ugly" to sell.

To combat this monumental food waste and redirect perfectly edible produce to markets -- and consumers -- that need it, recent University of Maryland graduate Evan Lutz established Hungry Harvest. The non-profit "recovers" this discarded produce from local farms, food wholesalers, and packing houses and boxes and delivers it to paying subscribers. For every box purchased, the program also delivers fresh produce to a family in need.

In this month's Smart Nutrition segment, Lutz and our regular Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel join Tom in-studio to discuss Hungry Harvest's market-based strategies to end waste and improve equity in the nation's food system.

Sheri Parks

Culture Commentator Sheri Parks on reactions to the mass shooting in Orlando.  Was the shooter a self-radicalized terrorist, a deranged abuser, a virulent bigot, a self-loathing gay man, or some combination thereof?  As the dead are remembered and buried, what will we remember months and years from now about how this tragedy changed the conversation about the fight against terrorism, access to firearms, and bigotry against the LGBTQ community, Latinos, and Muslims?  Sheri Parks is an associate Dean and associate professor at the University of Maryland College Park.  She’ll help us unpack lessons from the massacre at Pulse nightclub.

Plus, Theater Critic J Wynn Rousuck reviews Godspell at Cockpit in Court.

Sheri Parks

Sheri Parks is a culture critic, associate professor in the Department of American Studies and Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland College Park.

She joins Tom to discuss the massacre in Orlando and how issues of terrorism, gun control and bigotry against the LGBTQ, Latino and the Muslim communities intersect.  Dr. Parks also discusses presidential politics and how President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and other politicians are reacting to the Orlando massacre. 

Photo by Tom Lauer

Godspell is a high-spirited, musical re-telling of the life and passion of Jesus Christ, created in 1971 by a 23-year-old wunderkind named Stephen Schwartz (who would later go on to score many more musical hits), with a book by John-Michael Tebelak. Since its Off-Broadway debut, Godspell has become an iconic and seemingly timeless work, played in numerous community theaters, touring companies and revivals, including a successful 2011 run on Broadway. Now, a new production of Godspell by Cockpit in Court is playing through Sunday (June 26) at the Essex Campus of the Community College of Baltimore.  Maryland Morning theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck caught the show and joins Tom in the studio with her review.

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