Freddie Gray, Baltimore and the Bloomberg School
April 28, 2015 4:32 PM
Dear JHSPH Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I write to you today as someone who has lived and worked in Baltimore for 30 years to share my concern and sadness about the unrest affecting our city. The anger, violence and grief flowing through our communities were sparked by the tragic death of Freddie Gray, but their roots run much deeper. As part of the East Baltimore community, our School must find ways to help our neighborhoods heal. Public health has the tools and the focus to understand the underlying causes of violence -- including racism, economic disadvantage, social inequity and policing strategy -- and to develop transformative solutions.
We will be engaged, and we will stay engaged. In collaboration with our community, with others across Johns Hopkins and the City of Baltimore, we will pursue health and justice with humanity and humility.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 29, we had planned a Town Hall outlining the celebrations planned for our Centennial year, which begins in July. Given recent events, however, the Town Hall tomorrow will have a different focus. It will be an opportunity for everyone to reflect on Freddie Gray’s death and its aftermath, as well as to share ideas and become involved in the School’s response.
Please join us from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29 in Sommer Hall. We will work to accommodate as many people as possible and make arrangements for additional space, if needed.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH ’87