Professor Denise Meringolo established Preserve the Baltimore Uprising in April 2015, shortly after protests and unrest erupted in response to Freddie Gray’s violent arrest and his death while in police custody. It is housed on Reclaim Hosting, and it is managed cooperatively by the UMBC Public History program and the Maryland Historical Society. Anyone can upload digital materials directly to the collection from smartphones and other devices.

During the 2018-2019 school year, the Whiting Foundation Public Engagement Program provided financial support to activate the digital collection as the center of a community-based oral history project. The project team consisted of Denise Meringolo and Lee Boot at UMBC, Denise Griffin Johnson of the USDAC CultureWorks, Joe Tropea and David Armenti at the Maryland Historical Society, and Frank Anderson from the UMBC Choice Program. The team organized and recorded several community conversations to document local people’s understanding of the Uprising of 2015. They also worked with Baltimore City teachers and students to develop new lines of inquiry, to conduct oral histories and other relevant historical research, and to develop interpretive projects that promote a deeper understanding of the historical roots, contemporary experiences, and long-term implications of racial injustice, economic inequality, and social and political unrest in Baltimore.

Classroom teachers George Lewis and Patrick Brynes adapted the project materials, transforming them into the curricular materials on this site.

Andrew Arvisu assembled the secondary source reading list, selections from which are included in lesson number two

Thanks for their support to the UMBC Department of History, the Whiting Foundation, the UMBC Dresher Center for the Humanities, the Choice Program at UMBC, the UMBC Imaging Research Center, and the US Department of Arts and Culture, CultureWorks

Thanks to participating teachers and their students

Naureen Khan, Mark King, and Jennifer Gaither at Baltimore City College High School

Maureen O’Neill, John Eugene, and Hassan Charleston at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

Madalena Henning and Patrick Oray at Bard High School Early College

Speical thanks to Rachel Brubaker and Jamie Jung at UMBC and Daniel Reid, Adina Appelbaum, and Katy Einerson at the Whiting Foundation