Life in the Balance | WYPR

Life in the Balance

Civic Works

Today on the show, we meet Shakia Dawkins – a young Mom who was feeling a little lost – until she found Civic Works Green Career Center.

We'll learn how the green economy is offering new opportunities to city residents and how a focus on job training and resiliency can truly change a person’s life.

We’ll also discuss the future of sustainability and conservationism in our state – and how a focus on Green Careers can be a benefit for both our economy and our environment. 

Shan Wallace/ @sisterswithstories Instagram

On today's Life in the Balance, we focus on Black women: their experiences, their concerns, and their contributions to our country and to Baltimore.

Black women have faced racial and gender discrimination, violence, and economic and political disenfranchisement for hundreds of years. 

But, like the generations of women that have come before them, Black women are continuing to rise above the challenges. Here in Baltimore, a majority-minority city – when we talk about issues facing the City and its residents, how often do we hear discussions that center around Black women?

Guest host Jamyla Krempel and four local activists and educators add to the conversation in this episode. 

 

On this episode, we’re going to be taking you inside a boxing gym in East Baltimore. This gym is very unique – it’s one of the only places in the neighborhood that offers any extracurricular activity for local kids. It was founded by a man named Alex Long. Alex had a difficult childhood, being separated from siblings and parents in foster care… and he’s faced even more challenges since then, including the recent murder of his sister. He credits his athletic coaches with helping him remain positive and stable, and he wants to make sure the boys in his neighborhood receive the same care and guidance. Alex is now a community activist and a member of Safe Streets, an anti-violence prevention in Baltimore. He sees the boxing gym as a safe space for kids to get strong both physically and emotionally. 

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Mike Gerlach wasn’t born legally blind – he’s experienced a slow  deterioration of his vision over decades – but that hasn’t stopped him from leading the life he wants to lead:

We’ll learn how Mike, along with Kate Anderson at Disability Rights Maryland, is putting power in the hands of disabled citizens here in Baltimore to address transportation issues.

We’ll also meet the folks at Open Society Institute Baltimore who are championing the idea that an individual has the power to make a big change here in our community.

Wiki Commons

On this episode, we turn our attention to the epidemic of gun violence in Baltimore. Baltimore suffered 342 homicides last year.  And that’s up 17 percent from the year before. If you do the math, this means that about 56 of every 100,000 people in the city are murdered.  While mass shootings often make the headlines, the slow burn murder rate in cities like Baltimore usually aren't fully addressed. On this episode, we meet a shock trauma surgeon, a journalist uncovering the illegal gun trade across state lines, and a young man who miraculously survived being shot twenty-three times.