Council President Brandon M. Scott Announces His Bid For Mayor Of Baltimore

Today, Council President Brandon M. Scott formally announced his bid for Mayor of Baltimore City.

In announcing his candidacy, Scott highlighted a vision for the city where Baltimoreans can reach their full capacity in a safe, clean, and effective city.

“Baltimore needs a Mayor who understands all of Baltimore and does not cater to special interests but who is willing to invest in communities with the highest need and into initiatives that save our youth. We need a Mayor who will treat gun violence as a disease and throw the full force of government, not just the police, into addressing this epidemic.”

As Council President, Brandon has visited neighborhoods throughout Baltimore listening to neighbors priorities. Baltimoreans spoke up with passion — they want a mayor who will tackle crime everyday and clean up the corruption in Baltimore City government. Brandon understands that we need smart solutions to the unique challenges in every community. Today, Scott will kick off a city wide tour, where he will continue those conversations about how we can build a brighter future for Baltimore.

Governor’s Office On Service And Volunteerism Announces Opening Of AmeriCorps State Grant Application

The Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism today announced the opening of the AmeriCorps State Grant application process for the 2020 – 2021 service year. The grants are funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. AmeriCorps State Grants provide for living allowances of AmeriCorps members – individuals who will commit up to one year of service to support the mission of local service organizations and improve local communities. Upon completion of their service, AmeriCorps members qualify to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for post-secondary education or repay student loans. In addition, those who complete an AmeriCorps service term in Maryland are eligible for in-state tuition within the University System of Maryland.

“AmeriCorps grants create important opportunities for organizations to collaborate with service-minded Marylanders by providing living allowances and access to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to individuals who dedicate their time as AmeriCorps members,” said Steve McAdams, Acting Director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism. “Each year, we see the meaningful impact that the grant funds have on the community as a whole – increasing resources and capacity for organizations, inspiring citizens to serve as AmeriCorps members, and addressing issues important to all Marylanders.”

Earlier this year, the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism announced $4.5 million in AmeriCorps State Grants for the 2019 – 2020 service year. The grants were awarded to 19 organizations throughout Maryland, addressing a variety of issues, including raising awareness of opiate addiction and restoring wildlife habitats and trails in state parks.

To receive an AmeriCorps State Grant, organizations must raise a minimum of 24% of the grant in matching funds.

Qualifying organizations for the grant include:

  • Nonprofits,
  • Faith-based organizations,
  • State or Local government agencies
  • Institutions of higher education.

Organizations interested in applying for an AmeriCorps State Grant should visit for more information.

‘It’s Not Your Usual Bike Ride,’ Say Patrons Of Rides Around Lake Montebello

As the summer season comes to an end, you have six more weeks to have some fun in the sun while taking a ride around Lake Montebello.

Rides Around Lake Montebello is a program sponsored by Baltimore City Recreation and Parks. People who come to the lake for the program said it is a place to start off your workout, no matter how old or young you are.

“Biking is very common in the city, but how often do you see a program that gives people access to bikes who may not be able to afford them, or who want to ride with other people without feeling intimidated,” said Ethan Abbott, director of Rides Around Lake Montebello.

According to the city, the program has been around for seven years. Riders can take advantage of the bike program from May through October each year.

Riders and pedestrians enjoy their Saturday morning at Lake Montebello. Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Eryn Johnson

Riders and pedestrians enjoy their Saturday morning at Lake Montebello. Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Abbott said more than 60 people come each time to pedal the track around the reservoir which is just a little over a mile long. The city’s outdoor recreation team is on hand to assist people with finding the right bike and helmet. His team also gives lessons on how to properly ride and brake.

Organizers said Rides Around Lake Montebello is easy to get involved with and all you need is a photo ID. While technically free, Baltimore City Recreation and Parks said it accepts donations to help the program maintain the bikes and provide safety equipment for riders.

“When we found out we can ride bikes out here, it drew more and more of my family. We started to come every Saturday for family outings,” said K. Simpson from Baltimore. Simpson said she devotes a lot of her time helping her young granddaughter learn how to ride.

While some participants said they show up to get some exercise, others said they come to enjoy the weather, the lake, and each other.

“I got started with this program because of my hunny. We do this every week for fun, for exercise, and staying healthy. It’s free. It’s a great thing. Everyone should be doing this,” said Charles Lowder of East Baltimore.

Abbott said whatever the reason people come, he is glad they do. “This is a staple in this area. This is about community.”

Liberty Elementary School Staff ‘Granting’ Brighter Futures For Their Students

Under the leadership of Joseph Manko, Liberty Elementary School #64 located on Maine Avenue in Northwest Baltimore has received an estimated $6 million dollars in grant money to support students, staff and the community. Quite an amazing accomplishment given the fact that Manko and his staff have been able to do it without a paid professional grant writer.

“Because of our experience here, and because we love the kids, we can write grants from the heart in a way that a paid grant writer might not capture,” said Manko. “Those are our credentials. We don’t have the professional grant writing expertise, but we counteract that with our relationship with the kids and the community.”

According to Manko, approximately 500 students attend the school.

“We are always trying to look for ways to expand opportunities for our students,” said Manko. “We have been fortunate to receive a lot of grants and are in contact with organizations that help us to do that. We have the largest field trip program in Baltimore. Last year, we took our kids on 93 field trips. A lot of those trips were grant-supported. The Baltimore Museum of Art scheduled 12 trips for our fourth-grade students to go to the museum and study art.

“We also have a grant through Pearlstone, which is an organic Jewish farm in Westminster. The kids go there three times a year to learn about farming, and in the spring, they prepare a full harvest meal. This is a unique experience for urban kids who don’t have a lot of experience in gardening.”

Manko talked about the school’s many grant awards and the services they provide.

“We receive a yearly $250,000 Community Schools Grant through the Family League of Baltimore,” he said. “That grant allows us to provide after-school programming for 135 students. The children receive hours of additional academics, and also get to select enrichment activities they are passionate about such as Cub Scouts, drama, art, and karate.

“Another large grant is a $300,000 yearly grant from a lot of different sources who have pulled together to support a Judy Center program to support early learning. It provides activities and programming for kids even before they step foot in the school door. By the time they get here, they are already advanced. Though this program, we also offer parenting and GED classes and parent support groups.”

Judy Centers serve children, birth through age five and their families in an effort to increase the number of children entering school ready to learn.

According to Manko, the Liberty Judy Center program also hosts an annual Community Baby Shower.

“We invite new parents in the community to participate, and then we connect them to the program we have in the Judy Center,” said Manko.

Manko also talked about programs supported by some of the school’s smaller grants.

“The last five years, we have written a $50,000 grant through the Summer Funding Collaborative,” he said. “This year, that collaborative supported a five-week summer camp at zero cost to families.”

According to Manko, grant awards have made it possible for the school to offers its student an iPad or Chromebook; hire additional social workers; and offer trauma counseling. The school also oversees Liberty Recreation Center, which offers space and a variety of programs to the community. Other offerings include a community food pantry and produce drop program.

“Ms. Gomez works with the pantry team to let parents know about it,” said Manko referring to PTO President Juliette Gomez. “We also have a wonderful partnership with the Maryland Food Bank. We give away 16,000 pounds of food a month.”

Principal Manko and Liberty Elementary Students

Ursula V. Battle

Principal Manko and Liberty Elementary Students

Manko has served as principal of Liberty Elementary for 10 years, and has worked in education for 18 years.

“Funders want to make investment in longevity and stability,” he said. “We have a track record of success, and people are willing to support our initiatives.”

However, Manko was quick to point out that he shouldn’t be credited with the school’s grant success. He highlighted the efforts of many, including Assistant Principal Sarah Krauss.

“My only role is to empower the staff,” he said. “They will ask if it’s something they can do, and I say ‘yes.’ They care a lot about getting as much as we can for our students to help their learning. We also have a very active PTO.

“We want to provide our kids with the same opportunities kids in elite, prestigious Maryland schools would get. Rather than putting up our hands and saying, ‘that’s impossible,’ we look at the barriers that prevent us from reaching those goals, and move or work around those barriers. Our kids deserve the best.”

PTO President Gomez says Manko gets an ‘A+’ grade in her book.

“My granddaughter goes there, and I wanted to be involved,” she said. “Mr. Manko is so humble and is never too busy to hear what even the smallest person has to say. He even rolls up his sleeves and picks up the trash. Liberty is very blessed to have Mr. Manko.”

Local Businessman Enters 2020 Baltimore City Mayoral Race

“I am honored and delighted to announce that after careful consideration with an exploratory committee and residents, I am entering Baltimore’s 2020 Mayoral race,” Rikki Vaughn said.

Vaughn says that Baltimore is in need of aggressive and immediate actions to turn the city around.

“Baltimore does not need this on-going, repetitive leadership, it needs up-to-date leadership. We need a real vision, real direction, and real action to make our City better for all. Each campaign cycle, we are promised positive change while only settling for more of the same. It is now time to empower the people of Baltimore to restore our dignity, our hope, our collective family,” Vaughn said.

Born and raised in Baltimore City, Vaughn was a minimum wage worker at McDonald’s, a high school dropout at 16, and father at the age of 17.

“Today I am the CEO of my own company, operating national brand restaurants in eight states across the nation. I am a Magna Cum Laude graduate from a HBCU, honors graduate with my MBA, and now, a candidate for PhD,” Vaughn explained. “As you can see, I did not let how I entered the race determine how I was going to finish it. It is the values of Baltimore that propelled me to my success and my commitment to serving.”

Vaughn didn’t like that the President of the United States tweeted about Baltimore.

“He called our city, rat and rodent infested. He called it disgusting. He absolutely did his best to embarrass us, and our leadership. However, I know Baltimore is so much more. The greatest city in America deserves more respect, more credibility and more dignity on a national level,” Vaughn said.

Baltimore City is a crucial and significant part of the American legacy and heritage, according to Vaughn.

“For me, I am proud of Baltimore’s contribution to the nation and to the world. But I know we can do better. Aim for higher heights,” said Vaughn who as a Democratic candidate vows to uphold Baltimore’s values and maintain its integrity.

“I will listen and represent all. We are one family, united by our beautiful city. We succeed when we work together and understand that one person’s success is the success of us all. If I can turn my life around, with the help of God, family, and community, there is no limit to what our city can accomplish when we understand that our best days are ahead of us. The time for the same leadership, the same approaches, and the same mottos is over. If we did it before, we will do it again,” Vaughn said. “My platform will be completely based on creating a better Baltimore that uplifts us all, empowers us all, and reinstates the dignity that we deserve. I ask that you humbly join me on my mission to serve Baltimore, as it has served me. I know that Baltimore is great. It is time that we remind the world of that greatness. I am running to give Baltimore City what it deserves— respect, love and peace.”

Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run/Walk/1 Mile Walk

— The Baltimore County Department of Aging invites you to participate in its 13th annual Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit 5K Run/Walk 1 Mile Walk fundraiser, which benefits health and wellness programs for older adults. The race will be held Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 8 a.m. at the Community College of Baltimore County Essex campus.

This multi-generational fall event which draws people from all over the region to run or walk the equivalent of 3.1 miles. For those who aren’t up for the 5K challenge, there is a one mile walk.

The Essex Campus 5K course includes, both hills and flats, a challenge to those who are looking for an energizing workout on a Sunday morning. On mile walkers can enjoy strolling around a flat area separate but close to the racecourse. Participants will also enjoy visiting vendor tables and displays, as well as a variety of free falls prevention and health and wellness screenings.

All proceeds from the event go directly back into keeping many of Baltimore County’s older adults healthy and active; as well as enhance the fitness centers and exercise programs in the Baltimore County’s 20 Senior Centers.

This year, as part of the agency’s “Social Isolation” initiative, we have developed “Don’t Walk Alone” which encourages participants to invite their families, friends, and children to walk along with them. We hope this will give seniors and others the opportunity to live connected.

There will be a Team Spirit award, trophies for the largest team, most money raised by a team and most money raised by an individual. 5K Medals to the top three men and women overall and to top the three men and women in each age category. New this year, a commemorative pin will be provided for race day participants. Race day participants will also be entered into various door prizes including (5) $100 Fitness Pays gift cards (must be present to win). Amenities include a technical long sleeve moisture wicking T-shirt (Guaranteed to first 1,150 registered participants. Size not guaranteed.

Online registration is available now at

Vernon Jarrett Medal To Be Presented To New York Times Reporter For Her Work In Coverage Of Hate Crime, Race, And Identity

— Morgan State University School of Global Journalism & Communication (SGJC) announced today that it is awarding the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence to Audra D.S. Burch, an award-winning National Enterprise Correspondent for The New York Times.

“The judges and I were so very impressed with the depth and scope of Burch’s work. Her reporting represents important aspects about the black condition in America that merits recognition,” said DeWayne Wickham SGJC Dean. “We are very excited to celebrate her accomplishments and award her The Jarrett Medal this year.”

Burch was cited for a body of work that included articles titled, “Who Killed Atlanta’s Children;” “Parkland Activists;” “Why a Town is Finally Honoring a Black Veteran,” and “Gardening While Black.”

Before joining the Times, Burch was a senior enterprise reporter on the Miami Herald’s Investigations team. As part of a two-person unit, Burch explored abuse in Florida’s juvenile justice system. The series, “Fight Club,” was a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist. An earlier I-team project focused on how almost 500 children died of abuse or neglect over a six-year period after falling through Florida’s child welfare safety net. The series, “Innocents Lost,” won numerous honors including the Worth Bingham Prize, the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting and the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. While at the Herald, Burch also crafted a specialty race and culture beat based in the American South.

“I am deeply honored to be named the recipient of the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence. As an African American journalist, my stories are so often centered on the fault lines of race and what it means to be black in modern America,” Burch said. “One of the late Vernon Jarrett’s greatest gifts was his fearless commitment to covering black life with authority and humanity. Both this prestigious award and Mr. Jarrett’s enduring legacy are an inspiration. I hope to continue exploring stories of injustice and inequities, but also healing and resilience.”

Burch launched her career at the Post-Tribune in Gary, Indiana followed by a stint at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University. Burch is also a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Burch will receive the prize, which includes a $10,000 check, at a Sept. 19 ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington.

For just the second time in the last five years, a runner-up was announced. Judges named Soraya Nadia McDonald, the culture critic for ESPN’s The Undefeated to receive an award.

McDonald writes about film, television, the arts, fashion, and books. She is also a contributing editor for Film Comment magazine and a critic for Fresh Air with Terry Gross. She is a member of the New York Outer Critics. Previously, she was a pop culture writer for The Washington Post, where she focused on issues surrounding race, gender, and sexuality. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in journalism in 2006 and spent six years covering sports before turning her focus to culture writing.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be a finalist for the Jarrett medal. I’m humbled to stand on the shoulders of one of the people who founded the National Association of Black Journalists,” said McDonald. “Black artists contribute so many wonderful, unique, and underappreciated insights to the story of America. It brings me such joy to have a job where I am propelled by passion and curiosity, and where I have the pleasure and privilege to shine a light on those whose work helps us to better understand ourselves and the world at large.”

McDonald will be honored with a $5,000 prize.

The Vernon Jarrett Medal is awarded to a journalist who has published or broadcast stories that are of significant importance or had a significant impact on some aspect of black life in America.

The award is named for the late Vernon Jarrett, a pioneering African American columnist who wrote for the Chicago Defender, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Sun-Times and who used his columns and long-running radio and television shows to educate Americans about the nation’s legacy of slavery and segregation. Jarrett is a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Previous Jarrett Medal winners are Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News columnist Helen Ubiñas (2018), Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News reporter Mensah Dean (2017), Kirsten West Savali, a writer, cultural critic and associate editor of The Root, (2016) and Dr. Stacey Patton, then, a reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education (2015).

The Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalist Excellence is funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundations.

About the School of Global Journalism & Communication

The School of Global Journalism & Communication, created in July 2013, is led by founding Dean DeWayne Wickham, a former columnist for USA TODAY and a founding member and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. The school is dedicated to giving voice to people who struggle to contribute to the public discourse that shapes the nation and the world through innovative teaching, cutting-edge research and exemplary service to Maryland, the nation and the world. The school seeks to instill students with the skills, knowledge and training necessary to become effective communicators and to add to the diversity of thought in the media.

About Morgan State University

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 100 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit

Facebook Announces The Baltimore Times As A Journalism Project Community Network Grant Recipient

We’re SO PROUD and EXCITED to announce that we’ve received a Community Network grant from the Facebook Journalism Project! You can learn more about our project and what it means for our readers here:

The Facebook Journalism Project and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism are pleased to announce 23 additional recipients of Community Network grants. Organizations will use these grants to support projects aimed at building community and new paths to sustainability in local news. In July, the first 23 grant recipients were announced. The current round includes initiatives focused on new paths to sustainability.

18 Years Later, Americans Stop To Remember The September 11 Attacks

CNN Video

It’s been 18 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the day that never ends.

18 years later, Americans stop to remember the September 11 attacks

Originally Published: 11 SEP 19 10:12 ET

Updated: 11 SEP 19 11:34 ET

By Eric Levenson, CNN

    (CNN) — It’s been 18 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the day that never ends.

Events in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania — each of which saw destruction and disaster that day — will be held on Wednesday to remember the victims and first responders.

Nearly 3,000 people died when hijackers took control of four commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. More have died since from illnesses related to the destruction.

A ceremony marking the anniversary of 9/11 started at 8:40 a.m. ET this morning at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

A new state law passed in New York this year mandates that public schools allow a moment of silence to mark the anniversary. The law is intended to “encourage dialogue and education in the classroom” and to ensure that future generations understand the terrorist attacks, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

President Donald Trump and the first lady marked the moment the first World Trade Center tower was hit, at 8:46 a.m. ET, with a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. The two solemnly bowed their heads as a bell rang.

Members of Congress similarly observed the anniversary at the Capitol.

During the ceremony in New York City, a young man used an iPad to read the name of his father, Richard Avery Aronow.

“And my father, Richard Aronow. I love you very much. I miss you,” the automated voice said.

He was accompanied by a woman holding the iPad for him. The young man did not speak.

™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

The Tamron Hall Show Debuts

America’s news sweetheart Tamron Hall is back with a self-titled daytime talk show The Tamron Hall Show. Following Hall’s controversial yet celebrated 2017 exit from the Today Show after being curbed in favor of white supremacist-y Megyn Kelly, Hall returns to television as a talk show host on her terms.

In addition to Hall’s professional life, a lot has also changed in her personal life since the abrupt Today and MSNBC exit. The award-winning journalist is now married and a mother of a son, which she discussed at the “Journey to My Wildest Dreams” Toyota sponsored luncheon at the 2019 NABJ national convention held in Miami.

Hall discussed how motherhood has changed her life, the confidence required to be in the news business and the challenges faced by blacks in general and black women specifically on the often-complicated journey to success.

Hall reiterated the importance of having a seat at the table and being ready when the opportunity presents itself. “There was a window, a sliver of opportunity and I took it,” says Hall. “I knew I had to shoot my shot,” says the Texas native. Indeed, Hall shot her shot, landing on her feet with a daytime talk show in a market that is crowded but ripe for a voice like Hall’s.

Hall’s return to daytime pits her against another one of America’s sweethearts, Grammy award-winning singer Kelly Clarkson who is also launching a self-titled talk show on the same day on NBC no less.

Clarkson is the season one winner of American Idol and has served as a judge on the wildly popular NBC reality show The Voice.

Hall will also be wading into territory currently occupied by Wendy Williams, Rachel Ray, and the ladies of The View and The Talk among others. Hall created this talk show to bring people together and to give them an opportunity to share their “authentic journey.”

One of the ways Hall is shaping her show is by insisting the makeup of the crew reflect her audience. Despite having veteran executive producer Bill Geddie at the helm, Hall insisted that more women be hired because she wants to empower people like her – a self-described country girl from Luling, Texas who has made it to the upper echelons of television and news.


The Tamron Hall Show on YouTube

Although creating and hosting a daytime talk show is new to Hall, working in front of and behind the camera is not. Hall hosted the Discovery ID series Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall, a weekly series which takes at deep dive into crimes, including unsolved crimes.

Motivated by the unsolved murder of her sister Renate, Hall lead an investigative team of journalists working together to find out what happened and why, to victims throughout the country for three seasons.

Hall’s talk show will differ greatly but will offer in-depth discussions about important topics in addition to traditional daytime lifestyle segments. Hall believes television has the power to help people share their “authentic journey” and wants people to talk about their lives and inspire others in the process.

The Tamron Hall Show debuts 9/9/19. Check local listings for channel and time information.

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., entertainment and culture editor for NNPA/Black Press USA. Nsenga is also founder & editor-in-chief of the award-winning news blog The Burton Wire, which covers news of the African Diaspora. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.