Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unsung Baltimore

I have lived and worked in the Baltimore area for 20 years. Every day I am privileged to meet people who make Baltimore a better place. They are administrative assistants and nonprofit leaders, artists and clergy, high school students and retirees, educators and service workers, entrepreneurs and volunteers.

We share a city and a metropolitan region burdened by enormous economic disparities, fragmented communities, a strained infrastructure, and the tragedy of addiction. These problems have contributed to a negative perception of Baltimore by people in other parts of the country, and, sadly, even among Baltimoreans themselves.

Yet these challenges are not the whole story, not by a long shot. Baltimore also boasts a thriving arts and culture landscape, a burgeoning environmental sustainability movement, and a galaxy of public, private, and nonprofit institutions dedicated to improving opportunities for everyone.

Most of all, Baltimore is blessed with unique, vibrant, historic neighborhoods, and with residents of all races, ages, faith traditions, and economic backgrounds who commit themselves to piecing together the fragments and making our community whole. Though they don't receive the attention, accolades, or acknowledgment they deserve, these neighbors are our region's most vital asset.

These are some of their stories.

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