Jaime Brown is the community director of Harbin Hall in the Office of Residence Life.
“The prospect of a Georgetown immersion trip to Baltimore focusing on racial and economic justice made me both excited and nervous. I care about these topics, but questioned if I was emotionally prepared to staff the trip.
Our second day in Baltimore dictated the course of the experience. A Black Baptist church service and follow-up conversation with Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III made it clear that we were there to learn about Black liberation.
He reminded us that it is not enough to just notice issues – we need to propose solutions. ‘Systemic problems need systemic solutions,’ he continuously repeated in our discussion.
We became acquainted with an impactful community organization, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, during our trip. The grassroots think tank addressed what community is, the future of community and how we attain it. We also met with members of the Baltimore Algebra Project (BAP), a youth-led organization focused on math literacy and advocacy, and attended two #FindingJusticeBET tapings, which focused on Mass Incarceration and the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida.
We met Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California), writer and scholar Melissa Harris-Perry, Baltimore author D. Watkins and Baltimore educator Valencia Clay. Clay asked us what we planned to do with what we learned from our experience. We committed to staying in touch, sharing our experience across campus and becoming engaged in our communities around similar issues.
I left Baltimore full, grateful and affirmed that as a Black woman, I come from and am capable of greatness.”