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Schools, Prisons & Concentrated Poverty: Addressing Challenges, Generating Solutions

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Schools, Prisons, and Concentrated Poverty

Youth arrests in Baltimore have significantly declined in the last six years. However, too many African American youths confront harsh and punitive practices in their schools and communities that lead to confinement, thus preventing upward mobility and thriving communities.

  • African American youths make up 90% of the juvenile arrests in Baltimore, although they represent only 64 % of youths living in the city.
  • 13% of African Americans in Baltimore have a B.A. or higher, compared to 51% of Whites.
  • 60% of Baltimore City High School students are chronically absent, although regular attendance is one of the main predictors of academic achievement.
  • From 2011 and 2016, neighborhoods that were less than 50% African American received four times the investments made to communities that were more than 85% African American.

In response to these inequalities in homes, schools, and communities, the Baltimore Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, Johns Hopkins School of Education, and Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute are partnering to produce a framework and platform, with the intent of generating strategies to bring about structural change and support to students and their families who are combatting intergenerational educational inequities and community disinvestment.

The symposium aims to:

  • Identify the root causes and current state of racial segregation, intergenerational poverty, and the school-to-prison pipeline in Baltimore City
  • Explore evidence-based strategies and practices that provide youth with services and social supports needed to thrive
  • Acknowledge and learn from the strengths, talents, knowledge, success stories, and celebrations of families and communities.
  • Break down silos by bringing together policymakers, business leaders, experts, school personnel, the mayor’s cabinet, and community members to produce policies and practices so all students and families can thrive in Baltimore.

Keynote Speaker features Damien Sojoyner, associate professor at University of California and author of First Strike: Educational Enclosures in Black Los Angeles. He analyzes black masculinity, education policy, and schools as a form of “enclosure” for students of color in order to problematize the “school to prison pipeline.”


Homewood Campus
John Hopkins University Glass Pavilion at Levering Hall
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218
Thursday, October 3
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM