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On the Record

ALICE in Maryland

May 24, 2017
Courtesy United Way website

About one out of three households in Maryland has income above the federal poverty level, but not enough to cover basic necessities like housing, food, child care, health care and transportation. That’s the conclusion of The ALICE Project -- United Way’s statewide analysis which reveals a staggering situation in almost every county. We ask Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland, to help us understand ALICE -- asset-limited, income-constrained, employed. On June 8 United Way of Central Maryland is sponsoring a policy forum to address the challenges of ALICE. You can register for that event here.

Courtesy B'More Clubhouse website

For Tanya Phillips, mental illness made it hard for her to work or to be around others. Then she connected with B’More Clubhouse, a community that focused on her strengths, not her diagnosis. We speak with Tanya, and B’More Clubhouse executive director Jason Woody, about the work the non-profit does to support individuals with mental illness by  allowing them to check their diagnosis at the door, and instead concentrate on building community and developing skills. 

We talk with award-winning journalist Mary Otto about her new book “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.” It chronicles the rise of cosmetic dentistry and the marketing of the coveted ‘Hollywood Smile,’ contrasted with decades of deficient access to oral healthcare for many Americans--a gap that still pervades and challenges the system. Otto’s book was spurred by the tragedy of Deamonte Driver in Prince George’s County, who died at age 12 from infection from an abscessed tooth. Otto will be speaking about her book and signing copies for sale at the Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, an event co-sponsored with the Public Justice Center and Health Care for the Homeless. You can find out more about the event here, and you can purchase the book here.

Loring Cornish shares a Stoop Story about divine messages he received upon his arrival in Baltimore, that led his art to take on a life of its own. The next live Stoop show is Monday, May 22, with the theme “THE SHOW MUST GO ON!” -- it’s a collaboration with Everyman Theatre. Get tickets here andvisit the Stoop Storytelling site for more stories!

Design Matters

May 19, 2017
Courtesy BMI website

Artist Chris Bathgate wants people to look at everyday objects with a sense of wonder. He believes we often take for granted the iterations of design and the thought process required in the manufacturing of a simple power tool, electronics device, or even a pocket knife. Bathgate, well-known for his precise, elegant industrial-feel sculptures spoke with us about his exhibit at Baltimore Museum of Industry, which is up through March, 2018. He leads a tour of his work May 21. You can find more information about the tour here and about Bathgate's exhibit here

In the spirit of Bike to Work Day, we get a bikeable Baltimore status update from to Liz Cornish, executive director of Bikemore, which advocates for roads that are safer and more accessible for cyclists as well as pedestrians. In the second half of the show, founder and program director Chavi Rhodes and longtime mechanics mentor Lee, from BYKE - Baltimore Youth Kinetic Energy collective, talk about how its teen participants learn personal and professional development through bicycle mechanics and mentoring. For more information about BYKE visit the site here and to learn more about Bike to Work Day and other biking events, check those out at Bikemore.

David Cook / Flickr via Creative Commons

From the shape of the nests birds build to the color of their feathers, technology is turning theories dating back to Darwin on their head. Biologist Jordan Price, of St Mary’s College of Maryland, has mapped the genes of both ancient and more recently derived bird species. He tells us why domed bird nests evolved into the widespread bowl shape, why the color of feathers might be more about camouflage than attraction, and what scientists got wrong when studying the differences between female and male birds.

A safe space to sleep can be lifesaving for infants, but families who are low-income, homeless, or transient may turn to unsafe alternatives - like sharing a bed or using the couch. We hear from Shantell Roberts, who has made it her mission to educate parents about safe-sleeping practices and developed a small, portable option. She is also founder of the nonprofit Touching Young Lives. Plus, Traci Kodeck, president and CEO of the nonprofit HealthCare Access Maryland, tells us about how they connect low-income mothers to services.

When Gov. Hogan declared the surge in heroin and other opioid deaths “a state of emergency,” he put Clay Stamp in charge of the fight. Clay Stamp is senior emergency management adviser to the governor and director of the Opioid Operational Command Center. He tells us what resources have been mobilized by the state of emergency and the prospects for making addiction treatment more available. Check out BeforeIt'sTooLate for information and resources related to the opioid overdose crisis.

Courtesy Stoop Storytelling

At a Stoop Storytelling event in October, 2015, Kaye Whitehead talks about how she’s learned to be a devoted mother and Black Mommy Activist for her two fierce, young sons. You can find it along with other stories and the Stoop podcast at Stoopstorytelling.com.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Mother’s Day, to a woman who has finally found refuge for herself and her children in a domestic abuse shelter, can be a very emotional time. Bouquets from JWI’s Mother’s Day Flower Project translate into emotional support for women in domestic abuse shelters. Today we speak with JWI vice president Meredith Jacobs, and Naomi Taffet, from CHANA, which provides resources for victims of domestic abuse, shares the stories of some of her clients. To support the flower project visit the JWI website here.

JARC Baltimore / Facebook

Elaine Carroll tells On the Record about a job-training program she directs in Baltimore’s Park Heights neighborhood - the Jane Addams Resource Corporation, JARC. She describes the obstacles trainees face and how JARC Baltimore prepares low-income folks for careers in modern manufacturing.

@madeinbmorepopup / Instagram

In the response to the growing market for locally-made goods, Baltimore City's Department of Planning will now provide qualifying business with a "Made in Baltimore" certification. Coordinator Andy Cook tells us what value the city thinks this label will add to products. Plus we speak to Jamyla Bennu, co-founder of the hair- and skin-care brand, Oyin Homemade.

The map is not the territory, photo by Ayden L.M. Grout

Have you ever been at a theater, music or dance performance and been unable to connect to the storyline? Odyssey Works, a performance group that creates “Immersive, durational experiences for an audience of one” invokes the exact opposite response. In fact, when you’re the audience for an Odyssey, it’s all about you ... We spoke with co-founder Abraham Burickson and assistant-director, Ayden LeRoux to learn more about the Odyssey Works experience and their new book.

Governor Hogan's Facebook page

A day after Governor Hogan vetoed the Democrats’ approach to drawing congressional districts, we ask Len Lazarick, editor of Maryland Reporter, to recap how the system works, and the pressures to change it. Boundaries drawn after the 2010 Census helped Democrats gain a seat in Congress, and now a lawsuit challenges whether that round of redistricting violated the U.S. constitution. Plus, we ask Tufts professor Moon Duchin, how geometry can challenge gerrymandered districts.

For nearly four decades BJ Leiderman’s melodies have graced the public airwaves, accompanying radio programs such as Marketplace, Morning Edition and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! We speak to him about how he got his start, his fear of success, and his debut album, just out, titled BJ.

Roland Park Elementary Middle School/Twitter

The Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Gay-Straight Alliance, or GSA, was started to ensure that every student of Roland Park has the best school experience possible. Its mission is to provide a safe and inclusive space for all genders and sexual orientations. The group recently won the national “GSA of the Year” award from (glisten) GLSEN, a national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students. We talk to several students from the GSA and their  advisor, Kimberly Mooney about how the GSA has positively impacted the school's atmosphere.

Katy Caldwell tells her story about coming out to her devout Christian parents and it's an unexpected surprise for everyone involved. You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast, all at stoopstorytelling.com.

When Stephen Morgan showed up in 1969, guitar in hand, to be a camp counselor at what is now The Arc-Baltimore, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities often lived in institutions, seldom on their own. Children with mental disabilities were not entitled to free, appropriate public education. Morgan has been head of The Arc Baltimore for three decades, and has witnessed big changes. Ahead of his retirement next month, we talk about what kinds of jobs make sense for people disabilities, what prompts businesses to hire them and what police need to understand about them.

Judy Centers, named for late wife of Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, provide early childhood education and family support services at Title I schools across Maryland. We speak to Crystal Francis, coordinator for Baltimore City’s Judy Centers, about how the centers connect families to community resources, such as GED prep and utility assistance. And parent Keisha Thornton talks about the educational value of Judy Centers.

Courtesty Enoch Pratt Free Library website

When Union General Oliver Otis Howard was named right after the Civil War to head the Freedman’s Bureau, Howard was creating a new kind of government agency, one that would take an active role in solving the problems of freed slaves and poor whites in the former Confederacy. A dozen years later, with the Freedman’s Bureau disbanded, Howard went west. Aided by a bright young officer from Baltimore, Howard led the fight against Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians in Oregon. In this program, historian Daniel Sharfstein introduces us to those characters, and traces the arc of change in how the U.S. saw its governing role as he discusses his new book, Thunder in the Mountains.

Special Collections and Archives / Goucher College Library

As the United States prepared to enter World War I, another battle persisted on the home front--winning the vote for women. What happened when young women at Goucher College protested outside the White House? And why did Maryland refused to ratify the 19th amendment? Goucher alumna Hannah Spiegelman takes us behind the scenes of an ongoing exhibit at Goucher about the picket. You can see pictures of the exhibit here. And writer Elaine Weiss, whose book about suffrage is to be published by Viking Press next spring, explains the tremendous obstacles impeding ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920.

Stories from The Stoop: Michael Singleton

Apr 28, 2017

Michael Singleton tells a tale about how his relationship with cooking defined his relationship to what he can call home. It was at a special Baltimore Museum of Art Stoop Storytelling in November 2015. 

Farmers Markets Celebrate Summer

Apr 28, 2017

There’s something that just shouts summer when the smells and colors of a farmer’s market envelope your senses on an early Saturday or Sunday morning as you wander through the just picked vegetables, fragrant flowers and fresh baked goods that fill the aisles. We look at two markets in Baltimore that have truly stood the test of time.

Lawyers in the Library

Apr 27, 2017
Maryland Legal Aid

Lawyers in the Library, a partnership between Maryland Legal Aid and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, grew out of the unrest in Baltimore City after Freddie Gray died from injuries received in police custody. ‘Lawyers in the Library’ gives convenient access to free legal advice right in the neighborhood.  Amy Petkovsek directs the Community Lawyering Initiative at Maryland Legal Aid and her client Shannon Powell, along with Melanie Townsend Diggs, manager of the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, talk about the genesis of the free legal assistance program and the difference its made it more than one thousand people's lives. To volunteer or find more information about Lawyers in the Library, visit Maryland Legal Aid or visit Enoch Pratt Free Library calendar.

Benjamin A. Skolnik and Elizabeth Pruitt / University of Maryland Hornbake Library

It was at the Wye Plantation near Easton that the boy Frederick Douglass first realized he was not free. University of Maryland archaeologists have meticulously pieced together clues about the daily lives of the African Americans owned by the Lloyd family -- the garden they designed, the kitchen crops they grew, the foods they cooked and their religious symbols reflecting African spirituality as well as Christianity. Professor Mark Leone gives us a tour of the exhibit “Frederick Douglass & Wye House: Archaeology and African-American Culture in Maryland.”

WYPR

The recent General Assembly session made significant changes in state law about sexual assault, and held back from some other changes. Lawmakers said the state no longer has to prove force in order to prosecute a rape charge; the legislature also gave survivors of child sex abuse more time to sue in court. They did not approve a measure that would have allowed courts, when a child is conceived through rape, to terminate the parental rights of rapists.

Baltimore Speakers Series website

The Baltimore Speakers Series presented by Stevenson University wraps up its current season with an evening that delves into where America stands today on issues of race and reconciliation. Speaker Michele Norris, former host of NPR's All Things Considered and founder of The Race Card Project, offers a preview of Tuesday's discussion that she'll have with fellow speakers Jason Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Morris Dees, founder the Southern Poverty Law Center. You learn more about Michele Norris’s Race Card Project here and find information about the last evening of the 2016-2017 Baltimore Speakers Series presented by Stevenson University here

How does the Baltimore Improv Group, starting with the barest suggestions from the audience about characters and emotions, create a full-length improvised play? Dave LaSalle, one of the directors, and Tim German, one of the improvisers, take us inside the theatrical magic that ends up as Unscripted. Lights! Action? Cue -- who??

Stories from the Stoop: Fabiola Ramirez

Apr 21, 2017

Time now for a Stoop story. This week we hear an immigrant family’s tale of courage, strength and perseverance. Here’s Fabiola Ramirez, sharing her family’s story of coming to the US and thriving against all odds.

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