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SOURCE Alumni Newsletter

Summer 2015


Responding to the Baltimore Uprisings

In May, Associate Director, Elizabeth Doerr, contributed the following guest post to the blog. Below is an excerpt from the blog post. You can read the entire post HERE .


Baltimore Uprisings


Baltimore: Reframing the Narrative

“How many of you are not from Baltimore?” Mindi Levin, Founder and Director of SOURCE – the community service and service-learning center for the Johns Hopkins University health professional schools – asks a crowd of prospective public health students.

Nearly every hand shoots up, with one or two outliers, at most.

She acknowledges what she already knew before asking the question – that hardly any of these new students know much about the city they’re about to spend their health education career in. She knows most of them came to Baltimore for Hopkins, not for the city.

She proceeds, “Well, I’m about to tell you more about Baltimore beyond what you saw in The Wire.”

The crowd chuckles. They know there’s a public depiction of the city. Maybe it’s all they knew about the city before they came here. Maybe their friends and family members warned them against the dangers of the city they knew mostly from the David Simon series. Maybe they came here despite that reputation.

The Wire is arguably one of the best television shows ever made and has exposed many problems in urban politics, policing, the criminal justice system, and the list goes on. But, it has also been one of the main sources of Baltimore City’s reputation proliferated across the rest of the country and world. So, when new students from the Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, Nursing or Public Health come to Baltimore from all over the country and world to attend one of – if not the most – prestigious school in their field, they also come with preconceived notions of the city in which they’ll be doing their schooling. They arrive with images of drugs, shootings, violence, police chases, and now – thanks in part to the imagery provided by national media coverage of recent events – looting and rioting. READ THE REST OF THE BLOG POST HERE


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