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Midday

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Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for her weekly review of thespian doings.  This week, it's the final production of Baltimore Annex Theater's 2016-17 season: The King of Howard Street is an original play based on the life of the formerly homeless Baltimore writer and housing rights advocate, Anthony Williams, who's portrayed in this production by Joshua Dixon.

For more than two decades, Williams lived in abandoned buildings up and down Howard Street. Several years ago, he began to chronicle his life story and the stories of his friends and family. Last year, Williams approached Annex Theater's Artistic Director, Evan Moritz, outside of the theater and handed him three spiral-bound notebooks filled with drawings and writings, including a draft of his autobiographical play.  Inspired by Williams' story, Moritz commissioned playwright Ren Pepitone and director Roz Cauthen to bring this story to a wider audience, and they've done so with a compelling mix of dance, music, and theater.

The King of Howard Street also features performances by Nathan Couser (Insurrection: Holding History) as Saint Lewis, William's right-hand man; Desirae Butler (The Tempest) as McFly; and Jonathan Jacobs  (Tempest, Master and Margarita) as Randall.  The cast also includes Malcolm Anomanchi, Kristina Szilagyi, Christian Harris, Mary Travis, David Crandall (Annex Company Member), and Elaine Foster. Costumes are by Stylz, Set by Bernard Dred, Lighting by Rick Gerriets (Annex Company Member), Sound by David Crandall, and Video by Rachel Dwiggins (Cook, Thief, Wife, Lover and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman)

Yesterday, President Trump issued a budget plan that proposes dramatic cuts to Medicaid and other programs like SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often referred to as food stamps. Despite campaign promises to the contrary, the president wants to reduce Medicaid spending over 10 years by as much as $1.4 trillion according to some estimates. The Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides healthcare support under Medicaid to low income children, would be cut by 20% in the first year alone. This of course comes after House Republicans passed a health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act earlier this month. Some in the Senate have vowed to start over, rather than work with the House bill as they craft their own. 

What could these cuts mean for the most vulnerable folks living in our city who rely on programs like Medicaid and food stamps to survive? Tom is joined by Dr. Leana Wen, the Health Commissioner of the city of Baltimore, for the Midday Healthwatch. 

She's a three time Grammy award winner, who took her first violin lesson at the Peabody Institute here in Baltimore just before her 4th birthday.  Six years later, at the ripe old age of 10, she was off and running on a concert career that has taken her to five continents and 43 countries around the world. She spoke at the Peabody Institute’s commencement ceremony yesterday, and before she takes off for her next port of call, Hilary Hahn joins Tom in the studio.

Over the past 20 years, a revolution in biotechnology has allowed scientists -- and the giant ag-biotech companies many of them work for – to blow past the tedium and imprecision of ages-old traditional breeding and dive directly into the DNA -- the genetic core -- of a plant, animal or microorganism, and move desired traits in or out as needed.  The result is that nearly all of four major crops being grown today -- corn, soybeans, canola and cotton -- are now genetically modified, high-performance varieties that a majority of farmers in the US and many other countries have been planting with gusto.

But the worldwide proliferation of these new GM crops has raised fundamental questions that go far beyond “are GMOs safe to eat?”  The questions go to the nutritional value and diversity of the foods we buy and eat every day, to the social and economic structures of food production and marketing, and to the quality of the environment in which our food is being grown.

Today, guest host Aaron Henkin (producer of WYPR's Out of the Blocks series) spends the hour examining how well the Baltimore City Public School System's "school choice" program is working, twelve years after its launch.

The program was created to give all students (and their parents) a chance to participate in the selection of the middle schools and high schools they wish to attend. 

The annual high-school choice program starts each fall, it goes on through each spring, and it gives late middle-schoolers an opportunity to identify their top five preferred high schools.  Kids make these selections based on a range of criteria:  they look at student population, gender mix, sports programs and, special academic offerings like advanced placement courses and college-credit curricular tracks.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump spent a year on the campaign trail saying terrible things about Muslims and NATO. He railed against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information. He even had bad things to say about the Pope.  

He leaves today to meet with leaders of Saudi Arabia, NATO, and Israel, whose trust he abused when he revealed secrets Israel had collected, to Russian diplomats. He’ll also meet with the Pope.  

Meanwhile, computers across the globe were paralyzed by ransomware, a white police officer was acquitted in Oklahoma after shooting an unarmed black man during a traffic stop, and layoffs are imminent in the Baltimore City Schools.  

ClintonBPhotography

Everyman Theatre is wrapping up its 26th season with the raucous British comedy Noises Off. Everyman’s Resident Company of actors transforms into a bumbling British company of actors just hours away from their opening night. Everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. Between the lost lines and love triangles pandemonium takes over before intermission. 

Vincent Lancisi is Everyman’s Founder and Artistic Director. He also directs this production. Deborah Hazlett stars in the role of Dotty Otley. They join Tom for a preview of Noises Off.

MD GovPics/Jay Baker

On Saturday, all eyes will be on the Pimlico race track for the 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes.  As the sports world bends its gaze to the aging track in Northwest Baltimore, track owners and local leaders are considering the future of Pimlico.

Almost everyone agrees that the track needs an upgrade. Will it take a facelift, or a complete tear-down and re-build to assure that the second leg of the triple crown stays in Charm City? Or, will the Preakness move to Laurel, MD? What’s at stake, with the Preakness stakes? Sandy Rosenberg, who represents Baltimore City in the House of Delegates, and WYPR reporter Karen Hosler join Tom to talk ponies and politics.     

Felicia Chapple

It's Thursday, and that means theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings. She joins Tom with a review of Arena Player's Crowns: A Gospel Musical

After 17-year -old Yolanda's brother is shot and killed in Chicago, she's sent down south to live with her grandmother, who is an active and respected member of her church community. Crowns is a show that focuses on African-American church women and as the title suggests, big, stylish, hats play a major role in the musical. The hats are used to convey history, tell the women's stories and to impart social rules.

TiaJuana Rountree gives a standout performance as Grandma Shaw and Khadijah Hameen's singing is nearly show stopping. Crowns, which is inspired by a portrait book of the same name, has been performed all over the country, this is first time it's being performed in Baltimore. 

Doug Mills/NY Times

Our country is becoming much more diverse. People of color will outnumber non-Latino, white Americans in 30 years. Are our newsrooms representative of our increasingly diverse nation? It’s a question that news organizations are grappling with across the country. Last month, NPR’s Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen published a report that said that in 2016, of the 350 employees in the NPR news division 75.4 percent were white. In the commentary Jensen wrote "There's simply no way around it: If the goal is to increase diversity in the newsroom, last year's was a disappointing showing” 

Last December, New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd published a frank piece about the lack of diversity in their newsroom. Of course NPR and the New York Times are not alone. In 2014, minorities made up 22 percent of television journalists, 13 percent of radio journalists, and 13 percent of journalists at daily newspapers. That’s according to the Radio Television Digital News Association and the American Society of News Editors. People of color make up about 15% of the programming staff at WYPR.

photos: Russian Foreign Ministry; American Enterprise Inst.

We begin today's show with yet another stunning development in the 117-day-old Trump Administration: the Washington Post and the New York Times reported last night that President Trump “boasted” about highly classified intelligence relating to a purported ISIS terror plot, in a meeting last week with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador at the White House. The published reports, which were based on anonymous sources described by the Times as “a current and a former American government official,” said Mr. Trump “provided the Russians with details that could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected.”

The classified material disclosed by Mr. Trump in his meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, was reportedly provided to the United States by a Middle Eastern ally known to be very protective of its own intelligence information. The material Mr. Trump shared with the Russians was deemed so sensitive that US officials had not shared it widely within the US government, nor with other American allies.

Although Mr. Trump’s disclosure is not illegal, sharing the information without the permission of the ally that provided it was a major breach of intelligence protocol and could jeopardize a crucial intelligence-sharing relationship.

Joining Tom is Gary Schmitt.  He’s a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, and the Co-Director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies and Director of AEI’s Program on American Citizenship.

Mr. Schmitt  previously worked on the staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as the Staff Director.  During the second term of the Reagan administration, he served as the executive director of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.  

Netflix

Next,  a conversation about a new, seven-part documentary that will be released on Friday (May 19) on Netflix. It's called "The Keepers," and it has already engendered intense interest in the cold murder case of a 26-year-old Catholic nun who taught at Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore City.  Sr. Catherine Ann Cesnik went missing in November 1969. Her body was found at a dump in Lansdowne, in Baltimore County, in January, 1970. Her murderer has not yet been identified.

In February of this year, Baltimore County Police exhumed the body of a former Catholic priest who died in 2001. Seven years before his death, A. Joseph Maskell had been accused of abusing students at Keough High School. Police exhumed his body looking for evidence that may link him to Sr. Cathy Cesnik’s murder.

Ryan White, who directed "The Keepers," joined Tom in Studio A. He has met with and interviewed several of Sr. Cathy’s former students, some of whom have been actively investigating her murder for years. Several of these former students figure prominently in "The Keepers."

Gemma Hoskins is one of those former students. She joined us on the phone from Ocean City.  She maintains a Facebook page about the killing of her favorite teacher that now has more than 1,000 members.

Help is available 24/7 for victims of sexual assault via the National Sexual Assault Hotline at their website (click here) or by calling 1-800-656-4673.

Courtesy Philadelphia Gay News

Since the 1960s, a succession of federal and state laws have been enacted to impose tougher penalties on perpetrators of hate crimes -- criminal acts that target victims because of their race, religion, gender or ethnicity.  But as the frequency of hate crimes has increased across the country in recent years, some lawmakers and civil liberties activists have questioned whether hate-crime laws are an effective response to acts of bigotry.  Today, we’ll explore that issue with a panel of experts: 

Faizan Syed is the executive director of the Missouri Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a grassroots civil rights and advocacy group that works to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America.  Mr. Sayed joins us on the line from his office in St. Louis;

Robert West is CAIR-Missouri's Civil Rights Staff Attorney; and

Frederick Lawrence is a lawyer, civil liberties scholar and CEO of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, a Washington, DC-based honor society that promotes excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. He is the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law.  In the 1980s, Lawrence served as the Chief of the Civil Rights Unit in the Office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, working under then-US Attorney Rudolph Giuliani.  Mr. Lawrence has also served as dean of the George Washington University law school, and as President of Brandeis University.  He is currently a Senior Research Scholar and Visiting Professor of Law at the Yale Law School...

It’s terrible, but legal, to be a racist.  When bigotry is behind a crime, what’s the best way to prosecute the criminal?   

Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

We begin with President Trump’s stunning decision to fire FBI Director James Comey earlier this week. Initially, the White House said Comey’s dismissal came at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt the President said his decision to fire Comey came before the recommendation. Democrats aren’t buying it and say Comey was fired because of the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

John Fritze is the Washington Correspondent for the Baltimore Sun. Julie Rovner is the chief Washington Correspondent for Kaiser Health News. Prior to her role at Kaiser, Julie covered health policy for NPR for 16 years. Dr. Terry Anne Scott is an assistant professor of History at Hood College in Frederick. They join guest host Nathan Sterner to weigh in on Comey and the White House and other news of the week. 

Photo courtesy Patheos.com

Today it's another edition of our monthly series called Living Questions – a series produced in collaboration with the ICJS, the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies here in Baltimore – that explores the role of religion in the public sphere.  

On today’s program, we’re going to be looking at the impact of the 112-day-old Trump Administration on religious freedom and tolerance in the United States.  Much has been said and written about the polarization in American political dialogue since the November presidential election, but we’re going to focus on how Donald Trump’s election victory has affected the way diverse religious groups interact with the larger society, and how presidential actions may have improved or worsened the climate of religious freedom -- one of America’s bedrock values.

Joining Rob to examine these questions are three leaders in their respective faith communities: 

John Gehring is Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life, which describes itself as a non-profit “strategy center…advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good.”  He is also a contributing editor to Commonweal Magazine, and the author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church, published in 2015. His analysis has been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Commonweal, and the National Catholic Reporter.   John Gehring joins us from NPR studios in Washington.

Joining Rob in Studio A is Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg.  He has been the Rabbi at the Beth Am Synagogue in Reservoir Hill here in Baltimore since 2010. He is a fellow in the Rabbinic Leadership Initiative of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and is a contributing author to Keeping Faith in Rabbis: A Community Conversation about Rabbinical Education.  He is a trustee of the ICJS.

Also in the studio is Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat.  A native of Syria who has lived in the United States for nearly 30 years, Imam Arafat serves as the President of the Islamic Affairs Council of Maryland, and is the president and founder of the Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation, a non-profit group that provides religious and cultural training, consultation and orientation services for foreign exchange students and for the staff of the State Department’s Youth Exchange Study Program.

Photos by Teresa Castracane

It's Thursday, and that means theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings.  Today, she joins guest host and Midday senior producer Rob Sivak with a review of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's revival of the 1960 classic musical, The Fantasticks.

The longest-running musical in Broadway history -- and still a perennial favorite of theater companies across the country and around the world -- has a simple, Shakespeare-inspired storyline, at whose heart is a 19 year-old boy and the 16 year-old girl next door. Their controlling fathers scheme to lead the unwitting pair into romance, but the matchmaking goes terribly wrong. The lyrical and sentimental musical, with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, is filled with memorable songs.  The Fantasticks is Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's first musical.  Directed by Curt L. Tofteland.

The Fantasticks continues at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company through Sunday, May 21st.

photo courtesy vanhollen.sen.gov

President Trump's surprise decision Tuesday night to fire FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly for mishandling the Hillary Clinton email-server investigation, has sparked a political firestorm, and precipitated what some political observers say is an unprecedented constitutional crisis. 

Critics of Comey's sacking allege it was a brazen attempt by Mr. Trump to derail the FBI's ongoing investigation -- being led by Mr. Comey -- into Russia's meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, and possible collusion with the Trump presidential campaign.  The presidents's supporters say Mr. Trump's decision to fire the FBI chief was justified by Mr. Comey's controversial public statements regarding the FBI's Clinton investigation.  And they dismiss critics' concerns that the FBI's Russia probe could come to a halt under the new director that Mr. Trump will appoint.

For the first segment of Wednesday's show, Tom speaks with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D. Md.) about the Comey firing, how it changes the political dynamic in Washington, and what impact it will have on the effort to finally learn the truth about Russia's involvement with the 2016 presidential race and the Trump campaign.

Photo courtesy Madison Smartt Bell

Tom's guest this afternoon is the novelist Madison Smartt Bell.  He is the author of more than 20 books, which include novels, short stories and works of non-fiction.  In 1995 and 1996, his novel, All Soul’s Rising, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award.   It won the Anisfield-Wolf award for the best book of the year dealing with matters of race.  It’s the first of a three-part trilogy about Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Slave Uprising of the late 18th century.

Bell’s a professor of English and the co-director of the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at Goucher College.  He calls his latest novel "a fever dream."  Behind the Moon begins with a group of teenagers skipping school and heading to the desert for a camping trip.  When one of them gets into an accident, it sets off a chain of events that brings together an absent  mother, a young refugee, and a shaman, among others, for a story that delves into the complexities of family, the hardships of the outsider, and the power and possibility of the spirit world.  

Madison Smartt Bell will be talking about Behind the Moon on Saturday, May 13 at the "Starts Here Series” held at Bird in Hand Bookstore, located at 11 East 33rd Street, Baltimore, MD  21218.  

The event begins at 7:30pm.  For additional details, click here, or call 410 243 0757. You can also contact host Jen Michalski at jen.michalski@gmail.com

Today, the author joins Tom in the studio, and takes your calls, emails and tweets.

Today, a discussion about what we might call the privacy paradox.

We say one thing when it comes to online privacy, but many of us act in decidedly un-private ways when we’re on the internet. What do we mean by that? We often say that we don’t want to be spied on -- by big government or by big data, the companies that collect and sell information about every place we go online. But our behavior suggests that we don't really care about our privacy as much as we say we do.   We post all sorts of intimate details about our lives and our families. We voluntarily allow apps to know exactly where we are at all times. That information is valuable to all sorts of companies, and sometimes to certain government agencies. Do we, perhaps, care about privacy in some abstract way -- but not enough to behave online in a way that would keep our information more secure?  And if we say we value privacy, are we, as a society, able to articulate what’s wrong with losing privacy?

Joining Tom at the top of the show today is Firmin DeBrander, a professor and philosopher who has thought a great deal about our relationship with online privacy and why privacy matters.  DeBrabander is an associate professor of philosophy at MICA here in Baltimore, where he has taught since 2005.  He is the author, most recently of the book, “Do Guns Make Us Free?”  He is working on a book about privacy, and an article that he wrote recently on the subject caught our eye, so we asked him to stop by Studio A to tell us more.

This afternoon Tom welcomes to the show two scholars who think a lot about the technical and legal ways in which our privacy is up for grabs, how privacy protections are changing in the Trump Era, and what those changes mean.

Melanie Teplinsky is a cyber law and policy expert and an adjunct professor at American University’s Washington College of Law.  As a lawyer, she has advised international clients on a broad array of technical and policy positions having to do with privacy. She began her career as an analyst at the National Security Agency, and she then worked on encryption policy and a wide range of information technology policy issues as part of the Clinton Administration. Teplinsky writes and speaks extensively on cyber law and policy issues.  She joined us on the line from the studios of WAMU in Washington.

Prof. Avi Rubin joined Tom in the studio.  Rubin is the Technical Director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where he also teaches computer science.  He specializes in the areas of cybersecurity and applied cryptography. He is the author of five books on information and computer security.

Photos- Allen by Stuart Hovell. Parnes by Chip Somodevilla

Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron trounced the populist far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, to become France’s next President.  The election was a blowout, and the latest in a string of repudiations of anti-immigrant candidates in Europe. 

So why have voters in France, the Netherlands and Austria rejected populist candidates while voters in the United States embraced the xenophobia of Donald Trump?  The authors of a new book about the 2016 Presidential election argue that the answer is, in part, Hillary Clinton.  Few candidates in history had the kind of political pedigree that the former Secretary of State brought to the race, but she was unable to overcome chronic and implacable voter distrust. 

Jonathan Allen is the head of community and content for Sidewire, and a columnist for Roll Call.  He joins us from the studios of NPR in Washington, DC.

Amie Parnes is the senior White House correspondent for The Hill newspaper.  She connects with us from WBGO public radio in Newark, NJ.

The two reporters /co-authors join Tom for the hour to describe one of the most consequential cases of woulda, coulda and shoulda in U.S. political history.  Their new book is called Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.  

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It's the Midday News Wrap, our Friday review of the week's top local, national and international stories, with host Tom Hall joined by a rotating panel of esteemed journalists and political observers.

This week, Democrats actually broke into song (belting out a few choruses of the 1969 Steam hit, "Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye") on the floor of the House of Representatives, as the Republicans' seven-year-long campaign to repeal and replace Obamacare finally took a step towards fruition.  Given the dramatic reductions in health coverage written into the bill, many Democrats believed it was a vote that will come back to haunt the Republicans at election time.  

Scribner, an imprint of Simon and Schuster

Today, a conversation about Dorothy Day, the journalist and Catholic social activist. She was the author of five books, and the co-founder and publisher of the Catholic Worker newspaper, which she edited from 1933 nearly until her death in 1980 at the age of 83. She was a rabble-rouser. She was a champion of social justice, pacifism and women’s suffrage. She converted to Catholicism as an adult. And now she’s being considered by the Catholic Church for canonization as a saint.

Dorothy Day’s granddaughter, Kate Hennessy, joins Tom in the studio to share some personal recollections of this iconic public figure. Hennessy, the youngest of Day’s nine grandchildren, is the author of a new book called “Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.” . She’ll be speaking tonight at 6 pm at Viva House, at 26 South Mount Street in Baltimore. For more information about tonight's event, call Viva House at 410-233-0488. Kate’s book will be available for sale at tonight's event, courtesy of St. Bede’s Bookstore.

Viva House is one of more than 250 Catholic Worker hospitality houses around the world, inspired by the houses Dorothy Day and others established decades ago. It’s run by Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham. Bickham and Walsh joined Tom on the show last December for a conversation about their book of essays and art about Viva House. That lovely book is called "The Long Loneliness in Baltimore."

Associated Press photo.

On Friday (05/05/17) afternoon at 1:00pm, Reveal, the nationally syndicated NPR program produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, will air an episode about police and communities of color here in Baltimore.  Mary Rose Madden of the WYPR news team and Mary Wiltenberg, a freelance reporter here in Baltimore, have each contributed stories about what happens when suspects in a crime react to police in different ways.  It’s called Running from Cops: In the Streets to the CourtsYou can hear it tomorrow afternoon on the radio or on-line, and you can also be part of a special listening event with the two reporters at 1:00 tomorrow at the Charles Theater here in Baltimore.  Mary Rose Madden and Mary Wiltenberg join Tom in Studio A with a preview.

Photography by Katie Simmons-Barth

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck stops by each Thursday with her latest review of a major stage production. This week, it's "Dorian's Closet," at Rep Stage in Columbia, Maryland.

“Dorian’s Closet” is a new musical getting its world premier at the Rep Stage, that's loosely based on the life of Dorian Corey.  She was a legendary female impersonator who yearned for fame, but who also gained notoriety for a startling discovery made after her death.

The musical chronicles Dorian’s rise in the underground club scene in New York City in the 1980s through her death in 1993. “Dorian’s Closet” is a sobering and inspirational odyssey about the drive to turn dreams into reality. Directed by Joseph Ritsch.  Book & lyrics by Richard Mailman and music by Ryan Haase; choreographed by Rachel Dolan, with Musical Direction by Stacey Antoine.

Dorian's Closet continues at Rep Stage through Sunday, May 14.

BPD

Tom's guest is Kevin Davis, the Police Commissioner of the City of Baltimore.  He oversees the eighth largest police department in the country, with an annual budget of $480 million; that’s almost 19% of the entire city budget.  The BPD is one of about 25 agencies around the country that were investigated by the Civil Rights Division of the Dept. of Justice during the Obama Administration.  Other jurisdictions included New Orleans, Cleveland, and Ferguson, MS.   

In August of 2016, the Justice Department issued a scathing report about the Baltimore Police Department that found a pattern and practice of unconstitutional stops and arrests that singled out African Americans, the use of excessive force, and other very serious allegations.  That report led to a consent decree that was agreed to on January 12th of this year, just 8 days before the Obama Administration handed power over to the Trump Administration.  

Sheri Parks/D.Watkins

Today another installment of Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland. Author D. Watkins joins as we continue to reflect on the 2015 Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. D. co-hosts Undisclosed, a podcast that re-examines Freddie Gray’s death. 

Getty Images

Today a conversation with a panel of activists and community leaders as we continue to reflect on the 2015 violence and Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. Last year The Department of Justice issued a report detailing widespread misconduct and unconstitutional practices within the Baltimore Police Department. The city signed a consent decree with the DOJ and city leaders have vowed to reform the department.

Will those reforms be enough to build trust between police and communities of color? Two years after the Uprising, are residents seeing any differences in their communities? 

Midday's Sneak Peek At The Parkway

Apr 28, 2017
Maryland Film Festival

Midday host Tom Hall is joined by Jed Dietz, the Maryland Film Festival's founder and director; Ann Hornaday, Washington Post film critic and author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies;  plus a panel of distinguished guests, for a special broadcast of Midday, live from the main theater of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway, the new home of the Maryland Film Festival

The 19th Annual Maryland Film Festival will take place May 3rd-7th 2017. You can find the full schedule here.

Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Today (April 27, 2017) marks the 2nd anniversary of the 2015 Uprising, the eruption of violence in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the 25 year-old African American man who suffered a fatal spinal injury while being arrested by Baltimore City Police.  Those fateful days of rage – coming after two weeks of tense but largely peaceful protests -- shook Baltimore to its roots. It sparked a city-wide soul-searching that launched ambitious efforts to address the long- simmering issues affecting Baltimore’s communities of color. Yet two years later, many would say too little has been done to address the root causes of the 2015 unrest, and that the city may have let slip important opportunities for lasting change.

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