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Honoring The Class Of 2020

Class of 2020: WYPR 88.1FM & Wide Angle Youth Media Honor Baltimore Grads

Baltimore City Public Schools kick off their virtual commencements this week; please join WYPR and Wide Angle Youth media in congratulating the Class of 2020.

With a little less pomp under these pandemic circumstances, WYPR shares our public radio stage celebrating these graduates with commencement speakers D. Watkins, Erricka Bridgeford, and Lady Brion.

D. Watkins is Editor at Large for Salon. His work has been published in the New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and other publications. He holds a Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore. He is a college professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project –– and has also been the recipient of numerous awards including BMe Genius Grant and Ford’s Men of Courage. He is the author of We Speak For Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America and the New York Times bestsellers The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America and The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir.

Erricka Bridgeford trains mediators, teaches conflict resolution skills, co-organizes a movement that rallies Baltimore City to avoid violence during three-day weekends and performs rituals for every person who is murdered in Baltimore. Her life has been impacted by murder since she was 12 years old, and she has been working for over 20 years to ensure that murder does not have the last say. Bridgeford is the director of training at Community Mediation Maryland, co-founder and co-organizer of Baltimore Ceasefire 365 and an inspirational speaker.

Lady Brion is an award winning poet, activist and organizer. She is arguably one of the most successful slam poets in the country. Her most recent championship titles include: Southern Fried Poetry Slam, Rustbelt Poetry Slam and The National Poetry Slam. She is the founder and executive director of Maryland's first and only Black Arts District and the author of With My Head Unbowed. Lady Brion received her Bachelors in Communication from Howard University and her MFA in Creative Writing from University of Baltimore. 

Wide Angle Youth Media, thank you to our producing partner. Through media arts education, Wide Angle Youth Media cultivates and amplifies the voices of Baltimore youth to engage audiences across generational, cultural, and social divides. Their programs inspire creativity and instill confidence in young people, empowering them with skills to navigate school, career, and life. Since 2000, Wide Angle Youth Media has worked with over 5,500 youth from across Baltimore City who have produced hundreds of digital media projects about their lives and communities.

Audio for on-air segments edited by Mark Gunnery at WYPR.

More ways to participate:

  • Tag @wypr881fm in your graduation photos on social & WYPR will share all week long!
    • For Instagram: Tag @wypr881fm & we will share your photos and messages in WYPR's Insta story. 
    • For Twitter: Tag @wypr881fm or #wyprgrad or #wyprclassof2020
  • Make a gift to WYPR 88.1FM in honor of your Class of 2020 grad, and they’ll become a WYPR member. We’ll send them a special gift in the mail to welcome them to the public radio family!