Public Commentary | WYPR

Public Commentary


Commentaries from community leaders around the Baltimore Metropolitan Region:

Marc Terrill – President, The Associated

Dr. Kimberly Moffitt – Chair, Language Literacy and Culture PhD Program (UMBC)

Al Hutchinson – CEO, Visit Baltimore

Dr. Francesca Gamber – Principal, Bard High School Early College Baltimore

Rev. David J. Ware – Rector, Church of the Redeemer


Archive prior to October 2013

Terrill: Remembering John Lewis

Jul 28, 2020
Provided by The Associated

As all are certainly aware, we recently lost Congressman John Lewis. This giant of a man was an icon of the civil rights movement and an extraordinary leader whose courage and resolve stood as a moral compass for our country.

John Lewis was a man of compassion, strength, fortitude and of love. He often repeated the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: "Hate is too heavy a burden to bear."

Gamber: What Choice Will You Make?

Jun 30, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

I work for Baltimore City Public Schools. So did my parents. When school resumes in the fall -- however it resumes -- it will be my tenth year in the public schools. This means that there are things about my job and my day-to-day that are givens. 

Number 1: Black lives matter.

Number 2: We fight systemic injustice every day.

Number 3: The fight is long, difficult, and sometimes painful. 


COVID-19’s Impact On Tourism And Hospitality

Jun 23, 2020
Photo provided by Visit Baltimore

These are unprecedented and pivotal times for Baltimore’s hospitality community. Our industry and the thousands of hard-working Baltimoreans who are employed by it are being challenged more than ever before by the COVID-19 crisis.

Ware: Black Lives Matter

Jun 16, 2020
Provided by Ware

With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others, it is not possible to remain silent. This moment is an opportunity, for some to wake up and for others who've been awake to go more deeply. To consider and confront the systems of racism that we have created, perpetuated, or benefited from.  


We stand with black Americans, and especially with young people, in your anger.


Systemic racism is not right, and it should not continue. 


Moffitt: For Black Mothers

Jun 2, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

This 90 seconds is dedicated to the Black mothers who heard George Floyd call out, in agony, for his “mama” and knew there was nothing she (nor we) could do for him.


Mama. Mommy. Mom. That moniker we grow fatigued hearing called out incessantly, but that we long to receive when our children are in despair. Whether it be a skinned knee, a failed venture, or even police brutality, that name represents comfort, guidance, and a place of refuge for many.


So this is for those Black mothers who only receive media attention when publicly mourning the loss of their child, yet are never seen for their undying commitment, love, and care for them.

Ware: Remembering The Architect

May 14, 2020
Provided by Ware

The Architect was born a century ago at the confluence of three rivers, where nature carved a perfect spot for trout. “Not so good for humans, though,” because the land was hard and isolated. Four distinct trails led Native Americans to and from the fresh water, but only a handful of people ever put down roots.

His family left quickly, too, following his physician father to Spokane, where a hospital had been built for homeless patients and orphan children. The building was a Beaux Arts castle, with tall ceilings and big windows that invited light and air into lives that had known little of either. “In it I saw the gift that order can bring to chaos,” he said.


Terrill: A Change In Perspective

May 5, 2020
Provided by The Associated

Perspective. If anything has been clearer over the last month and a half, it's that perspective can change in a single moment. The way we view the world. The things we might embrace as givens. It might be health, a roof over our heads, a job, food or simply gathering with friends.

This last month and a half has shown just how fragile perspective can be.

Gamber: Long Live The New Normal

Apr 21, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

One of my favorite things about being principal at Bard High School Early College Baltimore is that at our school, administrators are expected to teach. This semester, I'm teaching a college level course on the history of race mixing in America. The class used to meet every day at 2:30, last period for us, so the 27 enrollees tumbled in with all the energy that comes with anticipating the end of a school day,

Moffitt: Media Literacy And Protecting Your Mind

Apr 7, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

Many of us are now confined to our homes possibly with children and a lot of time on our hands. While it creates an exciting time to generate new ideas, start existing home projects, or even read a few good books, it also lays ground for us to take in and be overexposed to all sorts of media. Specifically, we are facing a pandemic and an “infodemic”—an “overabundance” of information that makes it difficult for people to identify truthful and trustworthy sources from false or misleading ones.


Ware: Remembering The Waitress

Mar 10, 2020
Provided by Ware

The Waitress grew up in a postcard North Baltimore colonial, three kids and a dog, picture perfect, and lonely. She watched her parents pour their first drink before sundown every afternoon, her mother in pearls and a fresh dress, her dad exchanging his briefcase for “something cold” as he crossed the threshold. Even as a little girl she knew the names on the bottles, how the seasons affected what was served, how to pass the hors d'oeuvres, and when to swallow her feelings. There was something dark under the family’s brittle surface that trained her to smile no matter what, and she internalized that her experiences were less important than her parents’ tangle of anger and regret. 

Gamber: The Only Way Is Forward

Mar 3, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

Lunch is one of the best times of day at Bard High School Early College Baltimore. The entire schools eats on the same lunch shift. Teachers open up their rooms for History Movie Club, Anime Club, or just to chat with students. In the cafeteria, freshmen play video games with seniors, while members of the mock trial and debate teams plot their next moves.

Terrill: A Path To Leadership

Feb 26, 2020
Provided by The Associated

A great deal of discussion and research has been devoted to the notion of leadership and the capacity of the individual as a force for positive change. Timeless questions like: Is leadership innate or can it be taught? Or, what should constitute the core competencies of a leader given our times? Or, even more granular, what matters most in effective leadership, cognitive or emotional intelligence? 

Moffitt: Black History Is Living

Feb 19, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

The 1619 Project. When They See Us. Who Killed Malcolm X? All are recent works in media that shed light on the sordid aspects of American history. While thought-provoking and at times disturbing, these media programs also reveal to us that history as a discipline and a lived experience should never be considered static. In fact, it’s living. 

Hutchinson: It’s Time To Come Together For Baltimore

Feb 11, 2020
Photo provided by Visit Baltimore

From Visit Baltimore’s research, we know 54% of visitors traveled to Greater Baltimore to visit friends and relatives. Unfortunately, what some of these visitors are hearing from their hosts is bad news about Baltimore City. After living in the city for three years, I understand just how divided our region is and has been for decades.

Ware: Remembering The Tavern Owner

Feb 4, 2020
Provided by Ware

The Tavern Owner grew up in north Baltimore, the second son of a family known for its swell house parties in the 19th century. In those days, guests would arrive by horse and carriage and stay for the weekend, to dance and eat shaved ice and escape the city’s heat. By the time he and his siblings came along, teenagers would pile into station wagons and drag the new road leading out to the reservoir. He went to Gilman and later boarding school, but his eyes were never really on the books or the corner office.

Terrill: The Associated At 100

Jan 28, 2020
Provided by The Associated

The American experience is principally an immigrant story and the chapters of the Jewish community of Baltimore reflect the same.

Jewish people have lived in Baltimore for centuries, side by side with our neighbors, in building one of this nation's great cities.

Gamber: Education, Innovation, And Equity

Jan 14, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

On Friday, January 17, hundreds of eighth-graders in Baltimore will submit their high school choice applications. This one day will be the culmination of months of research, planning, and  soul-searching by students, families, guidance counselors, and others. 

Moffitt: The Importance Of The CROWN Act

Jan 8, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

Locs, braids, Afros, twists. Black hairstyles on black bodies have always been highly-policed in America. Black hair is revered for its uniqueness and creativity and simultaneously reviled for the perceived offense of having naturally curly or coiled hair that distinguishes it from other races.

In 2019 the CROWN Act, or Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, was signed into law in California, banning race-based workplace discrimination based on one’s traditional and natural hairstyles. Similar legislation has now found its way to Maryland and Baltimore.

Jackie Copeland comments on the history of enslaved African Americans in Baltimore.  

Maryland Hospital Association

The summer of 2019 is flying by. As schoolkids across Maryland prepare to return to their classroom, the hospitals and health systems that serve your communities are helping to make sure your kids start the school year off right. They’re offering check-ups, vaccinations, routine care, sports physicals and more.

As devoted caregivers, it’s the privilege of our doctors and nurses to welcome children into the world and to continue to help them grow and to thrive. And, increasingly, we partner with the community and with local schools to make sure students are healthy – and ready to learn.

Bowen: The Three Rs of Education

Aug 13, 2019

What does thinking for yourself really mean? Jose Antonio Bowen, former president of Goucher College and self-regulated learner, tells us. 

Curley: Do The Right Thing

Aug 6, 2019
Noel St. John

Michael Curley, environmental lawyer and author, tells us how we can help save the Chesapeake Bay and reduce global warming. 

Copeland: Kwame Onwauchi's Rise

Jul 30, 2019

Jackie Copeland, executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, tells us about Kwame Onwauchi's unique journey that led him to become a well-respected chef and author. 

Bob Atlas, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, explains how hospitals are using telehealth to care for communities. 

Bowen: How Learning Works

Jul 9, 2019
Rob Ferrell

Jose Antonio Bowen, former president of Goucher College, explains how the five most important things people can do to improve learning are S.W.E.E.T. 

Curley: The Chesapeake Bay Keepers Club

Jul 2, 2019
Noel St. John

Why don't we have Chesapeake Bay keepers? San Francisco has them, Narragansett has them...environmental lawyer and author Michael Curley explains how it could work, and why it's important. 

Copeland: The Six Triple Eight

Jun 18, 2019

In February 1945, the U.S. Army sent 855 black women from the Women’s Army Corps (WACs) to England and France to clear the backlog of mail in the European Theater of Operations. 

Jackie Copeland, executive director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture, tells us about a film that spotlights this effort. 


Bob Atlas, president and CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, explains how Maryland's health care leaders and public officials are working to provide Marylanders with fresh, affordable food. 

Bowen: The Future of Work

Jun 4, 2019
Rob Ferrell

Goucher College President Jose Antonio Bowen comments on why the future of work is about being complimentary to technology, not dependent on it. 

Curley: Help Save the Bay!

May 28, 2019
Noel St. John

Michael Curley, environmental lawyer and author, tells us how the Chesapeake Bay Foundation educates, advocates, litigates and restores, all with the hope of saving the bay.