Episode #50: Gov't and Inequality

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In our final episode, taped before an audience at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, we ask: What tools do local, state, and federal governments have to dismantle the drivers of structural inequality?

Episode #49: The Usisi Circle

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Shawna Murray Browne knows the unique needs of black teen girls in Baltimore. She grew up in Baltimore City…and went on to get a master's in social work. She tells Tom Hall about The Usisi Circle, her program that helps girls build self-esteem, deal with trauma, and become the adults they want to be.

Lines LIVE Thursday Evening: Doors at 5:15

From the volume of online RSVPs, we are expecting a very large turnout for the Thursday, Sept. 26 event. We hope everyone will get a seat in the auditorium, but we’ve reserved a classroom with an audio/video feed in case there is overflow. We will seat the auditorium on a first-come, first-served basis, and the doors will open at 5:15 p.m. You must RSVP to attend the event.

Episode #48: Tracking Education

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Students learn at different rates, and some schools group students by ability. It’s sometimes called tracking. But, does it put the lower track students at a life-long disadvantage? Today, we talk with Maryland educators and an education expert from the National Education Policy Center.

Episode #47: White Privilege and The Suburban Safety Net

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In workshops and classrooms, Baltimoreans confront white privilege. Then, we look at growing poverty in the Baltimore suburbs.

Episode #46: The Great Un-Equalizer?

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A new Georgetown University report says America's higher education system is perpetuating racial inequality, as most white students go off to selective schools, and most minorities end up at the rest. We ask three people from our region's higher education world what it looks like on the ground here.

Who Do You Know?

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What does "who you know" mean when you take race and class into account? Lionel Foster tells us about the lack of connections that keep many talented young black men from finding work, and sociologist Deirdre Royster tells us what she found studying networking among white and among black vocational students in Baltimore looking for blue-collar work.

The Lines Calendar: September Edition

Gather 'round! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

WYPR’s “Lines Between Us” Live!

Join us Thu., Sept. 26 at this free public event with ProPublica civil rights reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. We'll have audience Q&A and record the evening to air as our final episode. Click through to get more information and RSVP.

Keeping Kids Out of the System

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Racial disparities in juvenile arrests, sentencing, and incarceration have been so stark for so long that Congress has given the federal government the ability to withhold federal funding from states who fail to do something about it. We ask what's happening in Maryland.

Episode #45: Achievement Gap, Affirmative Action

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Is class a bigger driver than race in the educational achievement gap? We’ll ask a Stanford professor how the gap is affecting higher education. A community leader and CNN writer share their own college experiences and give us their takes on the future of race-based affirmative action. Then, students describe the lines from their perspectives.

Episode #44: The Decision

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Today, we hear from Baltimore city parents about "the decision." When it comes time, where will they send their young children to school? We'll hear about parochial schools, charter schools, neighborhood schools, and...a decision to pick up and move to another school district.

Episode #43: Lines in the City

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Today, we're going out into the city to actually see the lines between us. Urban planner Daniel D'Oca shows us a few examples of physical barriers in Baltimore that push apart people of different backgrounds. Then residents of Northwest Baltimore tell us how they communicate across a perceived line between African-American and Orthodox Jewish communities.

Young Parents: Tell Us Your Story

Will you send your child to a neighborhood public school? Are you considering charters, private school, or…moving? Or are those options unaffordable? Tell us your story for next week’s episode.

Episode #42: Brown v. Board's Legacy

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When the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that separate schools are not equal, Baltimore left it to families to choose where to send their kids. We'll talk to three people who were attending city schools when the decision came down, and we'll explore the implications today with Morgan State's Ray Winbush and "Brown in Baltimore" author Howell Baum.

Episode #41: Keeping Kids Out of the System

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Racial disparities in juvenile arrests, sentencing, and incarceration have been so stark for so long that Congress has given the federal government the ability to withhold federal funding from states who fail to do something about it. We ask what's happening in Maryland.

Episode #40: Restoring Chances, Restoring Homes

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What's the power of talking through crimes and conflicts? Plus, Tom Hall goes to West Baltimore to visit a program that's trying to restore lives--and neighborhoods--as they teach ex-offenders construction skills by having them renovate vacant houses.

Episode #39: Your Stories, Pt. III

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We pause again in the series to share some of the listener comments and stories we have received over the past few months. Then, can Northeast Baltimore hang on to its middle class legacy? We ask two residents.

Episode #38: "Black Children, White Adults"

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That's the portrait that Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle's Dayvon Love paints of the Baltimore region's nonprofit sector. We'll hear his essay and talk to members of Baltimore Racial Justice Action and Latino Providers Network about race and power dynamics among those serving our poorest communities.

The LINES Calendar: July Edition

Gather 'round! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

Episode #37: Jail to Debt, Debt to Jail

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When convicts pay their debt to society…should they accrue financial debt? We ask Baltimore's deputy public defender how much money it costs to be involved with the criminal justice system. Then, why are people with debt landing in jail? Consumer advocates say they're missing court dates and the process is unfair to the poor.

Episode #36: Police and the Community

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Can racial disparities in our prisons be connected all the way back to policing strategies? Today we look at police-community relations with Baltimore Police Lt. Col. Melvin Russell, who heads up the department's new community partnerships unit.

Episode #35: Song for My Father, Pt. II

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Last week in our series, we looked at the generational cycle of incarceration that ravages some Baltimore neighborhoods. Today, we’ll talk about how to break the cycle of violence and incarceration, with a particular emphasis on the role of fathers to make or break the cycle.

Episode #34: When Incarceration is a Fact of Life

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In some Baltimore communities-where so many ex-offenders return to from prison-young people may see incarceration almost as a rite of passage. We talk to Nancy LaVigne, director of the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, and Adrian Muldrow, program manager for the Druid Heights CDC "We Can Achieve" Program.

The LINES Calendar: June Edition

Gather 'round! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

Reentry: The Interest on Your Debt to Society

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This illustrated slide show from exittheapple shows the "collateral consequences" of a criminal conviction. It's the problems applying for jobs, keeping your family together, finding housing, and other obstacles that make up the infrequently mentioned "interest" on the sentence, parole, and probation that make up your "debt to society."

Episode #33: The Road From Ex-Offender to Employee

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Every year, thousands of ex-offenders return to Baltimore City from jail or prison. When they try for a job, often their conviction records make the first impression. Today on “The Lines Between Us,” we examine the difficulties in transitioning from "ex-offender" to "employee."

A Historically Black University's Value...

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...as observed from a "traditionally white university." Bowie State professor Allissa Richardson on an incident that forged her dedication to serving students at historically black institutions, and a University of Maryland graduate on why his twin sister chose Spelman College...and he passed over Morehouse College.

Episode #32: Are the Scales of Justice Equally Weighted?

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In 1963, Gideon v. Wainwright established the right to an attorney in criminal cases. Now, 50 years later, we examine whether the system is working with Maryland's public defender, the executive director of the state's access to justice commission, and a law professor who thinks we still have a long way to go.

Episode #31: Taking Inequality to Court

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It's been 59 years since the Brown v. Board ruling ordered the integration of American schools. On the Lines Between Us, two civil rights lawyers share strategies for challenging structural inequality in an era when the courts are looking for individual wrongdoing, not the lingering effects of decades-old discriminatory government policies.

Episode #30: Prison Lines

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Adminstrative segregation, disciplinary segregation--Maryland prisons separate some inmates from others for many reasons. Does it add up to "solitary confinement"? And what's the psychological effect? We'll talk to three former state and federal inmates about their experience.

The LINES Calendar: May Edition

Gather 'round! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

Episode #29: The Stigma of Addiction

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Over 17,000 Baltimoreans are dealing with drug addiction problems. What challenges do they face in overcoming addiction? And what role do money and race play in recovery?

Episode #28: Furthering Affirmatively Furthering

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a mandate to take a more active role--or "affirmatively further"--the integration of our communities. Critics say HUD should go...further with affirmatively furthering, although some say they were more aggressive in President Obama's first term. We'll hear HUD's plans for our region.

Episode #27: Maryland's HBCUs

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Today, on The Lines Between Us, Maryland's four Historically Black Colleges and Universities: What do they mean for a college student in the 21st century? We talk with a Morgan State professor, the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland, and a student who transferred out of an HBCU.

Episode #26: Blue Light Special

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Do Baltimore's blue-light police cameras make neighborhoods more safe--or just tell more affluent residents which neighborhoods are not safe to visit? We talk to the director of Baltimore's CITIWATCH program, a city councilman who wants more cameras for his district, and artists who have addressed life among the blue lights.

The LINES Calendar: April Edition

Gather 'round! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.


Baltimore's Blue Light Police Cameras: Go.

This Friday, we'll look at the use of crime cameras in Baltimore--the ones with the tell-tale blue lights. Would you want a blue light camera on your block? Share your thoughts with us.

Episode #25: CEO Pay, Your Pay

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The "line" we explore today is inequality in what people get paid...within the same company. We'll ask a business school professor why CEO pay has outpaced worker pay, and we'll hear about efforts in Maryland to reverse the trend. (Photo credit: flickr/401(K) 2013)

Episode #24: "Your Stories" Continue

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In this week's episode, we share some of the listener comments and stories we have received over the past few months. From "Your Stories" and comments, we learn how you see The Lines Between Us.

Episode #23: Seniors and Food Insecurity

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Today, why some seniors in Maryland worry about whether they’ll have enough to eat. We examine the line between hunger and health among seniors with James Ziliak, Director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky and Cathy Demeroto, Executive Director of Maryland Hunger Solutions.

Episode #22: A Foot in the Door?

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More and more young people are taking unpaid internships, hoping to launch a white collar career. What about those who can't afford to work for free?

The LINES Calendar: March Edition

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Come on out! Here are opportunities to meet people who are starting discussions and making moves to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

Episode #21: Bread Winning, Bread Baking

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Today, gender: in the workplace, and in the household. Why do women in Maryland make 88 cents to every dollar made by men? Plus, how men and women split the tasks of cleaning and child care.

Episode #20: The Middle Class

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In 1970, two-thirds of Americans lived in middle-income neighborhoods. Now it's less than half, and poor and rich neighborhoods have doubled. Today we examine income segregation with a researcher and several residents of Baltimore's middle-class neighborhoods.

Episode #19: Linguistic Lines

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How does the way we speak affect the way others see us--particularly employers? Sheilah asks Charles Ramos, president and CEO of CR Dynamics and Associates and Coppin State University humanities professor Dr. Kokovah Zauditu-Selassie.

Episode #18: Local Jobs from Developers?

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Sheilah Kast and Melody Simmons investigate developers' follow-through on promises for local hiring, and Marian House executive director Katie Allston tells Tom Hall stories of women's recovery from homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.

Episode #17: Getting To Work

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How does transportation help, or hinder, our job prospects? Where do public transit and job opportunities intersect? We ask Brookings Institution researcher Adie Tomer and Michael Walk, the Maryland Transit Administration’s Acting Director of Service Development.

Episode #16: The Cost of Financial Instability

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What is the psychological toll of poverty, unemployment, and underemployment? We'll ask a few residents of the Baltimore region who know first hand, and we'll talk to Johns Hopkins Bayview's clinical supervisor of mobile treatment services about financial instability and mental health.

The LINES Calendar: 1-19-13 Holiday Weekend Edition

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Come on out! Here are opportunities to get out and meet people who are trying to re-shape Baltimore for the better.

Lines Changing in the Housing Market?

Will a new regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau help or hinder potential homebuyers in minority and low-income communities?

Episode #15: The Path to a Paycheck

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This week on the Lines Between Us—the path to a paycheck. Certain neighborhoods in Baltimore city are dealing with consistently high unemployment, such as the Oliver neighborhood where every fourth person is looking for work. We ask: what training programs exist to connect the unemployed to jobs—and ideally, jobs they enjoy?

Episode #14: Who You Know

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Today, what does "who you know" mean when you take race and class into account? First, Baltimore Sun columnist Lionel Foster with an essay on how networks helped him along the way. And, sociologist Deirdre Royster on what she found studying networks among white and black vocational students in Baltimore looking for blue-collar work.

The Lines Between Us: The Beginning

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As the opportunity of a new year approaches, today The Lines Between Us revisits our premiere episode, which starts our conversation about where the opportunities are in our region...and why.

Episode #13: Is Diversity Enough?

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Today, some people in Baltimore's nonprofit community tell us why they're moving the conversation about employment opportunities beyond "diversity" into "inclusion," and we'll learn what the difference is.

Episode #13 Extra: Where is the Next Generation of Community Leaders?

In this outtake from today's episode, Baltimore Community Foundation VP for Community Investment Danista Hunte and board member Harry Johnson express concern about the aging of Baltimore's civic and neighborhood leadership.

Episode #11 Extra: Questioning the Illusion Pt. II

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Members of the audience at the Dec. 4 film screening and panel discussion submitted dozens of questions and comments for our panelists. We have included all of the questions in this post, as well as audio of the entire discussion.

Episode #12: The Credit Lines Between Us

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Law professor Larry Gibson and Governor's Commission on Small Business chair Ackneil Muldrow, II, tell us the role of "Little Willie" Adams in financing Baltimore's mid-century black entrepreneurs, and what the expansion of credit to minority businesspeople in the decades that followed means for black small business today.

Episode #11: Questioning the Illusion

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In this episode of "The Lines Between Us" we broadcast the audio from our Dec. 4 film screening of "Race: The Power of an Illusion" and the panel discussion that followed.

Episode #10: The Wealth Gap

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Inequality discussions often focus on income inequality. But the wealth gap is just as complicit in perpetuating disadvantage through the generations. We'll talk about how housing contributed to the wealth gap, and meet an 88-year-old black World War II veteran who is feeling the effects of that gap as his health declines.

Episode #10 video extra: Uncle Joe's House

Today's episode is about an African-American World War II veteran who's having trouble selling his house near Mondawmin Mall. In this video extra, his great-niece Dominique Moore gives us a tour of the house.

Episode #9: The University-Community Line

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Morgan State University is partnering with residents and businesses in Northeast Baltimore on an initiative called the "Morgan Community Mile." How are the University and the community working together after being separated for so long? Sheilah asks Morgan State's dean and the secretary of the Northeast Community Organization.

The LINES Calendar

Come on out! Here are some opportunities around town to advance the conversation about race, class, and community.

Episode #8: Your Stories

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In this week's episode of "The Lines Between Us," listeners describe the lines from their perspective.

Episode # 7: The Lines of the Electorate

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What role did race play in this election? What does the president’s victory tell us about how our society is changing? And what has Barack Obama done--or failed to do--to address inequality? And the "LGBT" community celebrates a same-sex marriage victory in Maryland. We talk with gay and transgender advocates about what's next on their agenda.

Remembering Lucille Gorham

Lucille Gorham, a longtime East Baltimore community advocate died on Saturday. We remember her legacy.

Episode #6: Desegregation Disappointments

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ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones tells us why she believes the federal government has, for over four decades, blown its chance to help create more integrated communities across the country.

"Race: The Power of an Illusion"

On Tuesday, December 4, come to a free screening and panel discussion of "Race: The Power of an Illusion" at the Pratt Central Library in downtown Baltimore.

Episode #5 Extra: "Shutting the Door on the Neighborhood"

In this web extra, Tom asks Dr. Stefanie DeLuca about the factors that determine why public housing tenants choose a new home and a new neighborhood.

Episode #5: Public Housing in Baltimore

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In this week's episode we examine the history and policies of public housing in Baltimore from several different perspectives.

Episode #4: Foreclosed

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Today we examine how the foreclosure crisis broke down in the Baltimore area along race and class lines, and we visit the city's Belair-Edison community to see the personal cost of foreclosure and hear how neighbors are pulling together to fortify their neighborhood against the foreclosure crisis.

Great Blacks in Wax

One of the Baltimore institutions that crosses lines is the Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Tom Hall talks with the president Joanne Martin about why she and her husband Elmer founded the museum--and why they decided to locate it on North Avenue.

Children of Foreclosure

Researchers and community organizations are trying to find children in foreclosed families and get them help.

Episode #3: Diversity in the City

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“The Lines Between Us” series continues, with a look at neighborhood diversity. Edmondson Village in the 60s, Patterson Park in the 90s--how neighborhoods change in racial and class demographics.

Sheilah's Thoughts on Episode #3

Maryland Morning host Sheilah Kast offers a comment on Episode #3 of "The Lines Between Us."

Episode #3 Extra: "A Radical Welcome" Full Interview

In this extended interview, Tom Hall talks with Reverend Florence Ledyard of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church and Reverend Eddie Blue of the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Episode #3 Extra: An Author, Activist and a Councilman on Diversity

In this extended interview, Sheilah talks with Dr. Ed Orser, Glenn Ross and Baltimore City Councilman James (Jim) Kraft about culture clashes and the role of development in increasing diversity.

Episode #2: Dealing with Blight

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We look at how vacants relate to inequality in the region and examine the progress made by Baltimore's Vacants to Value program.

Listener Response to Episode #1

Listeners responded to the first "Lines" episode, "Song For My Father." Here's what they said.

Answers of the Week

The first question of the week asked our listeners "If you could live anywhere in the Baltimore region, where would you live? Why?" Here's what you said:

Episode #1: Song For My Father

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In the premiere episode of "The Lines Between Us," we hear how residential segregation took root in Baltimore, and a personal story from a man who learned an important lesson about race from his father as the civil rights movement was unfolding around them in 1960s Northwest Baltimore.

Housing Policy, School Policy

Some say housing policy is an essential context for school policy. The connection between housing and schools is explicit at this elementary school in Catonsville.