Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are able to join us tomorrow for Engage Baltimore, an event for reflection and progress in response to recent events in Baltimore. Free tickets will be available beginning at 8:15 a.m. on a first-come basis and the doors to Sommer Hall will open at 8:30 a.m. Space is limited so arrive early. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Baltimore. Congressman Cummings has been working tirelessly to bring healing and justice for his constituents across the city. He will be talking about what recent events mean for our city and our nation.

We will also hear from Professor Thomas LaVeist, Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen and a number of community leaders from across Baltimore. In the afternoon, there will be the opportunity for small group discussion and idea generation for forward progress. To learn more about the event, visit http://www.jhsph.edu/news/special-topics/engage-baltimore/forum/. For those who can’t make it in person, the morning will be webcast.

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More from students volunteering with the Health Department.  One wrote:

It was especially rewarding to help senior citizens affected by the over ten pharmacy closures in the area. I interacted with mothers seeking medication for their children and husbands looking to pick up prescriptions for their wives, all of whom were so appreciative of the quick response from the Baltimore City Health Department. My experience volunteering affirmed the immeasurable power that community has to rise from tragedy, and meet the needs of its most vulnerable members. Collaborating with BCHD staff persons, committed to helping people during this difficult time, was especially wonderful. Serving with the Baltimore City Health Department reminded me not only of the strength in human spirit and connection to overcome tragedy, but also how important it is to meaningfully engage within our community; because, even a small effort can make a huge difference to someone.

Another noted:

The highlight of my day was when I picked up a ringing phone-- thinking it was one of the patients I had attempted to contact calling me back--and was greeted by the director of the Walmart Port Covington pharmacy, who said that he heard about the pharmacies in West Baltimore closing down over the weekend and asked if there was anything he could do to help. Ultimately, he volunteered his pharmacy to conduct home deliveries for elderly patients who were unable to walk to or find transport to a nearby pharmacy.

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SOURCE supports community efforts year-round. While volunteerism is of great interest in the short-term and with immediate community needs, SOURCE and our community partners will need your support throughout the months and years to come. Stay connected: SOURCE@jhu.edu, 410-955-3880. For real-time opportunities to volunteer, check out the SOURCE Facebook page.

SOURCE community partner, Thread, believes that open dialogue is a key element to enduring relationships, the kind of relationships that reduce the barriers between disparate groups of people; the kind of relationships that allow us to acknowledge personal differences, while seeking to find common humanity.

Please join the Thread community on TODAY at 5:00 p.m. as they host special guest speaker, author and professor D. Watkins, for a forum discussion. Find event details here.

Volunteer opportunities for this week include:

Saturday, May 9

Volunteer with Civic Works’ Real Food Farm at Perlman Place to help their farm grow food for Baltimore. Volunteers will meet at JHSPH Monument Street entrance at 8:30 a.m. and return around 12:15 p.m. RSVP required to SOURCE@jhu.edu with name, school affiliation, phone number. SOURCE is organizing carpools so be sure to state if you have transportation (spots available in vehicle) or need transportation.

*10 Spots Left*

Saturday, May 9

Join the Highlandtown Community Association at the soon-to-be-opened Conkling Street Garden! Help transform a vacant lot into a beautiful community garden. Assist with building aboveground garden beds. They'll be providing gloves, tools, materials and lunch - all they need is volunteers. More details, visit:https://www.facebook.com/events/1409341462721310/

Sunday, May 10

Looking for an enjoyable way to spend time with Mom while giving back to your community this Mother's Day? Come cultivate goodness and greens with Moveable Feast at the Duncan Street Miracle Garden this Sunday from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. The healthy veggies you nurture will go on to feed some of Maryland's most vulnerable residents. Questions? Need directions? Contact Laura at lsaunders@mfeast.org

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake is looking for mentors to join their Positive Pathways Program: Baltimore (P3B). Mentors are men and women committed to supporting the development of youth who have been or are at-risk of being involved in the juvenile justice system. P3B Mentors serve as personal coaches/mentors assisting in the development of social, ethical, emotional and cognitive competencies needed to achieve success in college and/or career environments. P3B mentors serve a minimum of one year as a mentor. Youth participating in P3B are young men and women ages 14-18 residing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Harford County who have had contact with the Juvenile Justice System and are interested in developing their leadership skills in preparation for furthering their education and/or obtaining a job. Becoming a P3B Mentor is easy. Contact Courtney Harris, P3B Team Lead, at 410-856-1514 or visit www.biglittle.org to complete a volunteer application.

We encourage everyone to support the many restaurants, pubs and cafes that have been hard-hit by the events of the past week. These businesses are invested in our communities. Many are having a hard time making payroll, and it may take a long time for their customers to return. Downtown Partnership is dedicating this spring and summer to helping Baltimore’s restaurants recover. Please patronize our local Baltimore eateries to help them get back on their feed! Share your love for Baltimore on social media with the hashtag #OneBaltimore.

Complete SOURCE’s Community Engagement Survey and Enter to Win a Gift Card – Entry Deadline Tuesday, May 12. Please support the work that they do, by completing the following survey by Tuesday, May 12 for a chance to win a $25 gift card.

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Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake calls for Justice Department investigation into “a pattern or practice” of policing producing civil rights violations within Baltimore police department: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/us/mayor-stephanie-rawlings-blake-asks-justice-department-to-review-baltmore-police.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

In the Huffington Post, International Health Professor Bruce Lee offers his perspective on how major disruptions, like a riot, can often have over-looked long term effects on health:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-y-lee/beyond-the-baltimore-riot_b_7210008.html

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For comprehensive information on dealing with traumatic stress, tips for managers and helping children cope in times of crisis, please visit Hopkins Work Life Resources provided by the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program.

All students, staff and faculty can access the Bunting Interfaith Chapel, located in the Main Level/Arcade of the Zayed Tower of the Hospital. The chapel is open 24/7 to people of every faith who seek spiritual shelter, providing a serene place for prayer, meditation and reflection. Chaplains will be present in the chapel throughout the day and are available for prayer and discussion as needed or requested.

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If you have suggestions for relevant content to include in future mailings, please email us at publichealthpractice@jhu.edu. Again, another big thank you to Kelly King and Lauren Czaplicki for their work on these messages.