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For universities, discussion and healing as well as marches

The Daily Record
April 30, 2015

University students and faculty from around Baltimore are marching and protesting the death of Freddie Gray, but they’re also positioning themselves as healers and discussion leaders following this week’s riots.

Hundreds attended student-led protests demanding justice for Freddie Gray at the campuses of Johns Hopkins University and Towson University Wednesday before joining students from Goucher College, Maryland Institute College of Art and other schools for a peaceful march from Penn Station to City Hall, according to student news outlets.

But students and faculty have also recognized the need to talk, both among themselves and with members of the communities hurt most by the unrest.

“This is the responsibility of a university,” said Todd Kenreich, professor of secondary education at Towson. “To make sure sustained, informed conversations happen.”

To that end, Kenreich and a colleague held the first of two planned “teach-ins” at the university Thursday afternoon for any interested students, staff or faculty. Kenreich said he planned to begin with a discussion of the historical context of this week’s unrest, including the 1968 riots, as well as recent economic trends.

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