Greg Sawtell 2017
The more time I spend working towards Fair Development the more I return to this quote from W.E.B DuBois on art:
But art is not simply works of art; it is the spirit that knows Beauty, that has music in its being and the color of sunsets in its headkerchiefs; that can dance on a flaming world and make the world dance, too.
I believe that seeking beauty - not so much by the creation of objects - but through working to create spaces where we as people can think, reflect and act together around core human rights values - is a matter of survival - as it always has been. This type of deeply human activity is increasingly unexpected in a world that requires that we consume - and pay the bills - but not much more. And it was from struggling and thinking creatively together that we generated the concept for a Baltimore that is United Not Blighted - that puts a great deal of responsibility, trust and resources in the hands of local residents - to oversee complex challenges - to enjoy the fruits and face the setbacks that inevitably come with a dignified effort.
The results I have seen come out of the spaces you have supported in the past - from the amazing leadership of Free Your Voice to stop the incinerator to the incredible work of the Baltimore Housing Roundtable to put forth a vision for public prioritization of permanently affordable housing - is what compels me to continue to commit time and energy to this work.
Thank you for your attention and ongoing support!
p.s 32,000 = an estimate of the number of vacant homes in Baltimore.