Baltimore

Mindfulness Over Matter: Meditation Successfully Replaces Suspension at Elementary School

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The number of student suspensions for the 2016-2017 school year at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., as well as the number of student suspensions at the school for the 2015-2016 school year, is zero. This downward trend began when the elementary school incorporated a focus on meditation into its day-to-day routine. Instead of being punished for disruptions or misbehavior, students are sent to the “Mindful Moment Room” where they meditate and do breathing exercises.

No Accountability. No Trust.

Photo by Ryan Stewart / Sojourners

While I am no legal expert on the details of the court decision yesterday or whether the charges against him and each of the other officers were carefully made or effectively prosecuted, nor a spiritual expert on Nero’s motives, nor an administrative expert on Baltimore police training, one fact continues to remain clear: No one has yet to be held accountable for Freddie Gray’s death who was alive and well before being detained and put into that police wagon.

 

One Year After Freddie Gray, Baltimore Looks for Way Forward in Mayoral Race

Image via Dren Pozhegu / flickr.com

State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (37 percent) edged out former Mayor Sheila Dixon (34 percent) in the Democratic primary. They were the top two finishers in a large field of contenders, which included nationally-prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, who finished with two percent of the vote, just behind City Councilman Carl Stokes’ three percent.

On Anniversary of Baltimore Uprising, Faith Leaders Call City to Prayer and Action

Image via Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr.

In the last year, the group has met with civic leaders, including four mayoral candidates, police commissioner Kevin Davis, and the governor’s Justice Reinvestment Coordinating Council, the council tasked with crafting a plan to reduce the prison population in Baltimore. Several leaders, including Archbishop Lori, went to West Baltimore following the protests to help clean up and lead services. Imam Earl El-Amin of the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore said several members had developed a relationship with a seniors’ building during the uprising, sharing medicines and food. Rev. Deckenback’s church has been accepting donations over the last year for areas impacted by protests.

Churches Examine White Privilege

Image via Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Bourg/RNS

A year ago, when the death of Freddie Gray and resulting unrest in Baltimore filled the news, the Rev. Kathy Dwyer felt she had to do something.

“Every time I turned on the TV, I just felt like I was getting punched in the gut from watching the issue of racism just escalate in our country,” said the white pastor of a predominantly white United Church of Christ congregation in Arlington, Va.

What's at Stake in the Upcoming Baltimore Mayoral Race

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As a black person who has lived and worked in struggling cities like these for most of my adult life, I know that the stakes are high in Baltimore. As a black mom, I will have to teach my child what to do if stopped by the police, even though I have no fear that she will ever commit a crime. As the wife of a black man, I wonder if he will be hassled by the police for shoveling our driveway. As a parent who chose to move to the city to give our child the opportunity to have peers who look like her, I know that I am blessed with choices and resources. For those who lack choices and resources, effective leadership is even more crucial.

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