Coppin’s strategic partnership wins Greater Baltimore Committee award


— Coppin State University was among the named winners at the Greater Baltimore Committee’s 14th

Annual Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards ceremony on November 1, 2017.

The Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards are held by the Greater Baltimore Committee and recognize exceptional minority, women-owned, majority businesses and executive who nurture the development of minority businesses in greater Baltimore and Maryland.

Coppin’s strategic partnership is the first relationship of its kind in the nation between a public HBCU and a maker of space such as Open Works Baltimore.

The co-working space built by Open Works Baltimore is designed to nurture the next generation of small manufacturers and the business college at Coppin State University (CSU).

The partnership, which includes PNC Bank, is launching the DataWorks Project pilot, which will engage community and university stakeholders in designing an infrastructure to illuminate specific data in the immediate footprint of CSU.

Coppin says the data center is a catalyst for constructing a much richer context for understanding the challenges facing many of Baltimore’s communities, such as the socio-cultural issues and economic disparities of the people and businesses within the university’s footprint. Businesses, faculty, social and natural scientist, education researchers, and artists will come together using an interdisciplinary approach to observe the environment, conduct research, and solve community problems.

“We see the data center as a community intelligence agent, connecting all things West Baltimore to increase awareness through an interactive open source network for collecting, communicating, and sharing information,” said Dr. Ronald C. Williams with CSU’s College of Business. “The partnership is designed to provide a pathway of inclusion and establishes a collaborative framework of ‘trust’ between an HBCU, a

financial institution, an accelerator organization, and the community.”

The project will be the first center of its kind that uses GIS technology to bring unique perspectives and data together to tell the story behind the statistical disparities and decline in some of Baltimore’s most impoverished neighborhoods. The CSU DataWorks Project will connect community intelligence, Census Data, and other public sources of information into an integrated communication platform.

The DataWorks program has a unique opportunity to not only inform the community; but to advocate for public policy, connect key stakeholders and resources, and support economic growth and vitality.

“We are so pleased that this partnership’s value is drawing recognition in conjunction with the annual Bridging the Gap Achievement Awards,” said CSU President Dr. Maria Thompson. “The DataWorks program will greatly support the revitalization of West Baltimore and the enhancement of the immediate Coppin footprint.”