The Morgan Community Mile (MCM) is a university-community partnership where residents, businesses, public officials and other stakeholders come together with Morgan State University’s faculty, students and staff to make Northeast Baltimore a better place. The goal is to use various community engagement activities to improve and sustain the quality of life in the neighborhood and celebrate the strengths and diversity of the surrounding communities – Northwood, Lauraville, Loch Raven and others. As design student at Morgan, a resident of the City and an architecture intern at CBH+A, I have engaged with the efforts of the MCM from different aspects.
As a student in the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University, I have had the opportunity to interact with leaders involved in this process. From studio critiques to design charrettes, I have learned different processes of how to engage both the residents and students to identify and achieve their goals. Through these interactions, myself and other SA+P students have learned about the design profession beyond our studio desk and have begun to understand how the profession works alongside the community to achieve their goals.
As a member of an impacted community, the MCM has afforded me the opportunity to attend town hall meetings at Morgan State University where we begin to discuss the issues that we all face and collaborate to come up with plans of actions for these various issues. The MCM has also allowed me a place to voice my opinion as a citizen and also a place to learn about the City’s amenities, issues and people.
As an intern at CBH+A, I have the opportunity to engage with the MCM from the side of the design profession. I have joined the design team that is working with the University to design the new Behavioral and Social Sciences Center on campus and I have witnessed firsthand how architecture can be inspiring, ennobling, and inclusive.
Through the MCM initiative, I have seen how important it is to involve the community interacting with the project in the design phase, and how the best design can positively affect the community.