As a part of the Light City Festival, there are learning labs hosted by community partners like Kaiser Permanente.

WJZ’s General Manager Audra Swain will be a panelist on the social media lab hosted Wednesday at 1 p.m.

To learn which speakers and what topics will be discussed, see the schedule below.

WJZ will stream these learning labs on our site or on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

  • 8:30-9:00am: EduLab kicks off with Atman and Ali Smith of the Holistic Life Foundation in conversation with Rhonda Richetta, Principal of City Springs Elementary/Middle School. City Springs implemented restorative practices in 2007 resulting in a tremendous transformation in school climate and significant reduction in school suspensions. They have shown that when teachers and administrators give students voice—allowing them to speak up and for themselves—a culture develops that is conducive to learning.
  • 9:00-9:15am: Professor Christine Mallinson from UMBC will take on codeswitching in a talk entitled, “Baltimore: An Incubator of Language Diversity.”
  •  9:15-9:45am: Two national leaders in the Black Male Achievement movement, Shawn Dove and Matthew Kincaid will be interviewed by acclaimed journalist, Barbara Hamm Lee, in a panel entitled, “Where Do We Go From Here? Building Communities & Schools for Black Boys’ Success”
  • 9:45-10:05am:Acclaimed writer and local professor, Marion Winik, will look at the power of words in a talk titled, “Take a Sad Song & Make it Better.”
  • 10:10-10:30am: In a lightning round, called “Dear Mr. President,” three local EdTech entrepreneurs – Chris Sleat, Nichole Tucker Smith, and Sean Tackett – will share what they’d say if they were given five minutes with the President.
  • 10:30-10:55am: We’ll look at the education implications of the recent Casey Foundation Report on Reshaping Workforce Development in Baltimore with three young leaders who led the project: Shawn Burnett, DeJuan Patterson and Victoria Bryan
  • 10:55-11:25am: Jimmie Thomas and DevRock, of the Media Rhythm Institute will discuss the power of “Using Hip Hop as a cultural lens for education.”
  • 11:25-11:45am: Leader of the national EdFinTech movement and CEO of Allovue, Jess Gartner, will talk about “The Resource Gap,” sharing the real story about funding in Baltimore City Public Schools.
  • 11:45-12:15pm: We’ll close the day with rockstar, professor, filmmaker, Thomas Dolby, in a high-energy, multimedia talk focused on the future of higher ed entitled, “Are we ready for the $4,000 college degree?”


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

  • 1:15-1:35pm: SocialLab kicks off with nationally renowned author, cultural change catalyst, and TED speaker, Vernā Myers, debuting a new keynote entitled, “The Lights of My Life: From Baltimore and Back.”
  • 1:35-2:05pm: Saida Agostini, Veronica Cool, and Dr. Wendy Osefo will participate in a panel moderated by Maricka Oglesby called “Culture Takeover: Women won’t be silent any longer.”
  • 2:05-2:25pm: Author and professor, Lester Spence, will speak about race and inequity in a talk entitled, “Why Baltimore does not heat its schools.”
  • 2:25-2:40pm: Rahne Alexander, a multimedia artist, producer, musician, and performer, will present, “Equal+Opposite: Reactions to Trans Representation in Film”
  • 2:40-2:50pm: Local High School slam poet, Rasta Huti, will present his poem, “Nike.”
  • 3:00-3:30pm: The audience will select the Warnock Social Innovator of the Year. The event will feature, Jenny Owens of Host for Humanity, Brittany Young of B360, Bennie Brimage of Reference Hive, and Valeria Fuentes at Roots & Raíces.
  • 3:30-3:55pm: In a discussion entitled, “Radical Oneness,” Erricka Bridgeford, the organizer of Baltimore Ceasefire, and Joe Jones, the CEO of the Center for Urban Families, will share their experiences as longtime leaders on the ground in Baltimore.
    3:55-4:25pm: In a panel about building powerful social movements, DeRay McKesson of Pod Save the People and #BlackLivesMatter, Asha Curran of #GivingTuesday, and Jonathan Jayes-Green of the UndocuBlack network, will talk about how to use the power of passion, authenticity and social media to drive social change.
  • 4:25-4:55pm: The day’s presentations will close with veteran 60 minutes and Nightline journalist, Byron Pitts, in a fireside chat with police commissioner, Darryl DeSousa, on crime, community and quality of life in Baltimore.
  • 6-9pm: At 6pm, we’ll host a free dinner and Kindling community conversation, hosted by United Way, meant to build on the discussions of the day.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

  • 8:45am-9:15am: The day kicks off with a panel discussion of Plastic Oceans. It will be moderated by Robyn Stegman, the marketing mind behind the social media phenomenon of Mr. Trash Wheel, in conversation with Michael Gonsior, of the UM Center of Environmental Science, Kris Hoellen, of the National Aquarium, Ashley Traut of Innovative Stormwater Projects.
  • 9:15-9:35am: Then, we’ll hear from one of the most celebrated leaders in the environmental justice movement, Peggy Shepherd from WeAct in Harlem. She’ll give a TED-style talk entitled, “Empowering People to Power Change.”
  • 9:35-10am: Liz Cornish of Bikemore will moderate a panel featuring two local councilpeople, Councilman Leon Pinkett, D-7, and Councilman Ryan Dorsey, D-3, along with Mike Heslin of LYFT, in a discussion entitled, “Complete Streets Creativity for Equity, Connectivity, and Public Health.”
  • 10-10:20am: One of Baltimore’s most civically engaged CEOs, Calvin Butler of BGE, will debut a new TED-style talk on Power and Purpose.
  • 10:30-10:45am: Jeremy Yoni Bedine, a former Israeli soldier and founder of energy services company, GridLion, will talk about his journey from the front lines of war to the front lines of the war on climate change.
  • 10:45-11:00am: After spending seven weeks in Antarctica, Artist Helen Glazer was inspired to see her art as a medium to cause people to think about their impact on the earth and to consider ways to live more green.
  • 11-11:30am: Farming is about more than food, and three local farmer/activist/entrepreneurs will share their perspectives on how urban farming is good for business, good for the environment, and good for the community. Dominic Nell of CityWeeds, Ausur Daniels of the Greater Mondawmin Empowerment Project, and Walker Marsh of Tha Flower Factory will participate in the panel.
  • 11:30-11:55am: The day closes out with a high energy discussion with one of the country’s most innovative movement builders and environmental leaders, Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip-Hop Caucus. Rev. Yearwood works alongside a diverse set of celebrity allies to raise awareness and action in communities that are often overlooked by traditional environmental campaigns.


Thursday, April 19, 2018

  • 1:15-1:45pm: The day kicks off with a discussion of the “Healing Power of Forgiveness,” led by Damion Cooper, a victim of gun violence and the founder of Project Pnuema. Damion will be joined by a Baltimore Police Officer and middle school participant in the program.
  • 1:45-2:05pm: Professor Kathryn Collins will discuss her research on interventions that work in mitigating the effects of childhood trauma.
  • 2:05-2:25pm: Leader of Brown & Healthy, Michelle Antoinette Nelson, will talk about health and power, particularly for women.
  • 2:25-2:55pm: Scott Nolen, of the Open Society Institute, and Lynn Mumma, of the Behavioral Health System of Baltimore, will discuss leading innovations in the treatment of addiction in a talk entitled, “A Safer and Healthier Baltimore: The Role of Safe Consumption.”
  • 3:05-3:30pm: We’ll look at the addiction crisis from the perspective of a parent and an activist in a discussion with Peter Bruun of the New Day Campaign, and author and activist, Kevin Shird.
  • 3:30-3:55pm: Baltimore’s game-changing health commissioner, Dr. Lena Wen will speak about what we all can do to achieve health equity in Baltimore.
  • 4:00-4:20pm: Mateo Blu, artist, activist, and former NFL player will connect living with epilepsy to his art and activism.
  • 4:22-4:50pm: The day closes with one of the most noted changemakers in the world, Nancy Lublin. Nancy Lublin is the founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line. During her 2013 TED Talk, Lublin launched Crisis Text Line, the world’s first 24/7, free, text message-based support service for people facing a range of issues, from depression and substance abuse to eating disorders and physical abuse. Named one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazine, Lublin later launched a separate initiative called Crisis Trends to track when and where issues occur. Nancy’s closing keynote will be entitled, “Saving Lives & Changing the World Through Texts and Technology.”


Friday, April 20, 2018

  • 8:35-8:55am: It’s an early start but prepare to be inspired. ArtLab kicks off with Mohamed Tall, former Baltimore City Poet Ambassador, and the two-time Muslim Interscholastic Tournament spoken word champion. Now a Political Science major, with a minor in African American studies at Morgan State University, Mohamed is a powerful voice for change.
  • 8:55-9:25am: MICA president, Samuel Hoi, is re-imagining the prestigious college’s relationship to Baltimore. He will talk about his big vision for a just, sustainable, and joyful world activated and enriched by artists, designers, and educators who are valued for their leadership and imagination.
  • 9:25-9:50am: What is an Art Space? Admired graffiti artist, Adam Stab, will sit down for a discussion about art, artists and art spaces in 2018.
  • 10:00-10:30am: Yoruba Richen is a TED speaker and documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad. Sonja Sohn is an actor – best known for her portrayal of Detective Kima Greggs on the The Wire – and filmmaker of Baltimore Rising, a documentary that offers a powerful look at her adopted hometown of Baltimore. In a discussion moderated by Shelonda Stokes, these two artists will explore film as a medium for community narrative.
  • 10:30-11:00am: Art and activism are the subject of a discussion with Aaron Maybin, a former NFL player, artist and author, and Kyle Pompey, ‘organic’ photographer and author of the recently released book, Perspective: Baltimore. The panel will be moderated by Sharayna Christmas, an artist and social entrepreneur who currently runs programming for Baltimore Creative Acceleration Network (BCAN) for creative entrepreneurs in the city.
  • 11:00-11:30am: Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) will present screenings and host a discussion entitled, “Stories for Change: Reenvisioning Baltimore through Youth Media.” The panel will feature Tia Price, WAYM Workforce Manager. Destiny Brown, a current student, and Shewana Skinner, a WAYM board member.
  • 11:30-11:50am: The day will close with a talk and performance from one of the country’s most acclaimed, unique, vibrant artists: Baltimorean and MacArthur “genius” awardee, Joyce Scott.


Friday, April 20, 2018

  • 1:10-1:40pm: MakerLab kicks off with Shanti Das, an accomplished Music Industry Executive, Marketing Executive, Consultant, Mentor, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Author. Shanti will share the stage with local social entrepreneur, Brittany Young, the founder of B360, a community partnership that uses dirt bike culture as a platform build relationships in the community, shift the perception of engineers, and provide a pathway to career opportunities. They’ll discuss empowering youth through their own culture in a discussion moderated by Michelle Antoinette Nelson.
  • 1:40-2:10pm: Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of UMBC, will lead a discussion on “The Making of Gun Show.” Joined by artist David Hess, art critic and historian Kathy O’Dell, and filmmaker Richard Chisolm, the panel will discuss the making of the exhibition Gun Show, a project designed to foster dialogue about one of the most volatile issues of our time — guns, who should or should not own them, whether or not to legislate them, ramifications for their use or misuse, and how issues of race, class, gender identity, and age impact every aspect of these questions.
  • 2:10-2:30pm: ason Bass will not only serve as the emcee for MakerLab, he and his Treason Toting co-founder, Aaron Bass, will do a talk entitled, “Makers everywhere: Moving past stereotypes in Baltimore.”
  • 2:40-3:05pm: Social media is redefining the way artists and makers build audiences for their work, and Sree Sreenivasan is redefining the way we use social media. Before going out on his own, Sree was the was the first Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At the Met, he led a 70-person team that worked to keep the 150-year-old institution relevant in the smartphone age. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2015.
  • 3:05-3:35pm: Baltimore makers have a growing number of programs and spaces dedicated to empowering makers. We’ll explore how these spaces are providing opportunity pathways for local makers inn this panel moderated by Mike Murray of Stanley Black and Decker. Mike will be joined by Keith “KC” Cooper, owner of Empowered Metals and head of Fix Baltimore, Tammira Lucas, of Moms as Entrepreneurs, and Jason Hardebeck, of the Foundery at Port Covington.
  • 3:35-3:50pm: Foad Hamidi is a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher and designer. Foad will share his work in a talk titled, Transcending Invisible Lines.
  • 3:50-4:10pm: Chris Sleat, CEO of Workbench, will talk about experiential learning and how the act of making can change the way we think and learn.
  • 4:10-4:40pm: MakerLab closes with a talk by Grammy Award winner, Kimbra, a singer

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