Student Spotlight: Broken Pipes and Falling Ceilings














A blog post by Max Curtis-Lewis and Kaira Grant, Wide Angle Youth Media Design Team Students.
Max and Kaira are both juniors at Baltimore Design School.

Broken pipes and falling ceilings, these are things BCPS students see on a daily basis. On Tuesday, February 27th, the Design Team of Wide Angle Youth Media took a trip to Annapolis to speak on the issue of school funding. On the bus, we got a paper telling us the theme for the night and who would be there. In attendance was Delegate Maggie McIntosh, who is one of the main spokespeople for Fair Funding Fair Facilities (FFFF). She went into detail about the school trust fund bill which has $42 billion saved in it to be used for schools and only schools.

Kira started off the meeting by introducing our group and what we do at Wide Angle. Kaira and Kynel started their introduction then started their speech. Here is a highlight of Kaira and Kynel’s speech:

“Maryland is the richest state in America yet our schools are still poorly funded. Schools should make youth want to learn but the poor conditions of BCPS are having a poor effect on student morale. The poor structure of the school buildings is making the students not want to come to school… Due to the over-crowded classrooms, students cannot have one-on-one time with teachers.“

Here is a secondary highlight of Chloe and Erin’s speech:

“School funding is an issue that has plagued Baltimore City students. We’ve had to fight for more funding our whole academic careers. The lack of funding has affected our education tremendously.”  

At the meeting, we talked about goals for Baltimore City schools. The first goal that we spoke about was a short term goal, which is to pass SB611. This is the Healthy School Facility Fund with $30 million going towards emergency repairs to schools nationwide.The second goal that we spoke about was the mid term goal, which is to pass the Knott Commission Bill. This bill is yet to be filed but is currently in development. The long term goal that we spoke about is more funding to completely rebuild or fully renovate under the 21st Century Schools program. $1 billion will go towards renovating schools and 100 city schools need a full overhaul.














Overall, our concerns were received in a very respectful way. The tone of the night was calm yet powerful. There were many people – students, parents, and staff from different schools – there to speak on the issue of school funding and that was what was so powerful about it.

Posted March 7th, 2018 in Uncategorized by waym

Staff Spotlight: The Teaching and Reaching Black Boys in America Forum

True progress is made when a society collectively strives to unlearn inherited behaviors. These uncomfortable conversations must be had in order to move forward in progression. Attending UMBC’s Teaching and Reaching Black Boys in America Forum was a healthy beginning to this lengthy process.

The forum welcomed activist-authors Dr. Eddie Moore Jr, Debby Irving (Waking Up White, Elephant Room Press, 2014), and Jack Hill, head of middle school, Cambridge Friends School, as panelists for a discussion about their newly released book, The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys. The book was created in hopes to spark a conversation around the book’s main premise that white women make up to 65% of the teaching force in America and because of this they play a critical role in their educational development.

The forum began with an introduction from each panelist, who provided their audience with their own unique perspective. Members of the audience were not only able to hear the side of two elder black males who had experience in education but also from a white women who has experience as well. Each panelist spoke passionately about the future of African American males in this country and how they felt their education was being put in the hands of women who don’t directly understand their needs. They went on about the history between the two groups dating all the way back to Emmett Till and offered the book as a guide in order to rectify the relationship between white women and black males. The book offers methods on how to develop learning environments that helps black boys feel a sense of belonging at school, as well as ways to change school culture so that black boys can show up in the wholeness of themselves and not feel the need to conform in order to make their teacher feel comfortable. Although I’ve never been a black boy and I will never fully understand their experience, I as a black woman know exactly how it feels to subliminally feel the need to tone down your blackness in order to escape judgement within a crowded room. Addressing the stereotypes behind their relationship and collaborating on effective ways to combat it is the only way to truly progress.

My favorite part was hearing Dr. Moore and Mr. Hill talk about the challenges they faced being fathers to black boys. As an audience member you could sense how passionate they felt about this topic. They spoke of the constant task of having to shake the world off the shoulders of their boys and how before working on the book they didn’t feel comfortable sending their most precious gift to someone who doesn’t fully understand them. Being an educator is a huge responsibility, you’re faced with the important task of molding the minds of the future, but how can you do so effectively with bias floating around in the back of your head? Debby Irving also provided a few gems to help combat this toxic nature. She spoke of her experience of having white privilege and how its okay to be uncomfortable in conversations such as this. I also really admired how during the discussion she challenged members of the audience who found conversations surrounding racial injustice to be uncomfortable, to use it to see from the other person’s point of view.“If you’re uncomfortable just talking about it imagine how they must feel living it.” She also spoke of the importance of not being a white savior and how one must help others with pure intentions instead of doing it for bragging rights or just to simply make yourself feel better. She did a wonderful job at providing her experience of being an ally as an example while also offering the book as a guide to help with overcoming the stigma surrounding white women and their black male students in order to form authentic connections between the two.
As a black woman living and breathing the same social injustices as my fellow black male counterparts, I often become blind to the troubles that they face everyday battling constant stereotypes and microaggressions. By attending this discussion, I left with a new consideration for the things they go through.

This blog post was written by Laurell Glenn, a Wide Angle Youth Media program graduate, Teaching Apprentice, and Administrative Assistant.


Posted March 1st, 2018 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

Know Your Rights!

Did you know? Every year Maryland school systems suspend thousands of students, many of whom have disabilities. When students are suspended, they lose instructional time and their learning is interrupted.

Students in Wide Angle Youth Media’s Design Team collaborated with Disability Rights Maryland and the Maryland Office of the Public Defender to develop a Know Your Rights booklets to help students better understand their suspension rights. To date, the Know Your Rights booklets have been distributed to over 2,000 students, family members, and community advocates in Maryland.

Learn more about your rights and download your own booklet here!



































If you think that you have been unfairly suspended, contact one of the organizations below:

  • Students with disabilities: Disability Rights Maryland (410) 727-6352
  • Students without disabilities: Maryland Office of the Public Defender (443) 873- 3531

To learn more about the Know Your Rights campaign or to request materials for your school, please contact info@wideanglemedia.org













Maryland Office of the Public Defender

Posted June 26th, 2017 in Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

Join us for a Wide Angle Family Night Celebration!

Join us June 14 at 6pm for a celebration of a year of successes for Wide Angle Youth Media! This meet-and-greet potluck will showcase some of our outstanding student work from this year, and we’ll celebrate the achievements of our young people with a highly-anticipated awards ceremony! 

RSVP to info@wideanglemedia.org and let us know how many guests will attend, and what dish you plan to bring to the potluck. There is no obligation to bring food to our potluck.


6-8pm, Wednesday, June 14

Wide Angle Youth Media

2601 Howard St.

Baltimore MD 21218

Posted June 7th, 2017 in Uncategorized by waym

Baltimore City Schools Budget Cut Rally

By Devon Aro and Takira Goslee, Wide Angle Youth Media Design Team Students. Devon and Takira are both juniors at Baltimore Design School and a part of Wide Angle’s Design Team. Takira is in love with the color red.

On Thursday February 23, a group of students from Wide Angle Youth Media went to a rally in Annapolis Maryland. The rally was an event to help with funding the various budget cuts for Baltimore City Public Schools. These cuts would cause 1,000 teachers and staff within the Baltimore City School System to lose their jobs. This affects us because we may lose 5-7 of our caring teachers.

Since our school is not the biggest school, we don’t have many teachers so we would lose a lot compared to other schools. The Rally hosted a horde of students, teachers, personnel, parents and even city council members standing outside of the State Capital in Annapolis.

There were inspiring speeches from teachers, students, and board members and they helped to bring out our mayor Catherine Pugh. She said she would announce a plan to help the gap. While this still is a problem, it is an improvement and while we wait for the announcement of what the state plans to do. We hope that the plan that’s announced helps. The rally was very empowering and it was very nice to see the number of supporters and to hear the speeches from various voices like delegates, students and teachers. I hope that our voices can have an impact on this deficit.

Photographs taken by Wide Angle Youth Producers documenting the event:






































































Posted March 7th, 2017 in Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

ABC’s not Suspension

By Bobbi Sanford-Maddox and Gyasi Mitchell. Bobbi is a senior at Dulaney High school and a member of the Wide Angle Design Team. Gyasi is a freshman at City Neighbors High school, a member of the Wide Angle Design Team and likes videography.

During the 2015-2016 school year 2,363 Pre-K through 2nd grade students were suspended in Maryland. When Wide Angle’s Design Team found out about this we thought it was absurd. The amount of students suspended in one school year was unbelievable.

We worked with the Maryland Coalition To Reform School Discipline to learn more and brainstorm ideas. To get the attention of the legislators we created the door hangers to persuade legislators to vote for House Bill 425 in Annapolis, Maryland. The bill was created to prevent and prohibit pre-k through 2nd grade students from getting suspended or expelled. Students should go to school to learn, not to be kicked out for small offenses.

We were excited to work on this project because we feel that to many students in Baltimore are being suspended. Our hopes are to stop the rate of suspensions and expulsions overall.































Posted March 7th, 2017 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

NEVER LATE NATE: An Attendance Superhero



Around 1 in 4 Baltimore City pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10% or more of the school year (Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign (November 1, 2011). Opportunity Scan: Attendance in the Early Grades (PreK-3)). Chronic absenteeism in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten can predict lower test scores, poor attendance and retention in later grades. (Attendance Works. Attendance in the Early Grades.)

Unfortunately, few tools exist to raise awareness of the importance of attendance in the early grades and to support students and parents in building healthy attendance habits.

When students in Wide Angle Youth Media’s Design Team learned about the shockingly high absenteeism rate among Baltimore’s youngest learners, they felt compelled to do something about it. Their solution? Kid friendly attendance superheroes, Never Late Nate and Never Late Kate.

Never Late Nate is a campaign created by the Wide Angle Design Team in collaboration with students, teachers, and non-profits. To insure the success of the campaign, students in the Design Team read articles on the importance of school attendance in the early grades, brainstormed ideas, explored best practices for kid-friendly design, created student personas, met with teachers and early childhood experts, and conducted a focus group with pre-kindergarten students.

Our Never Late Nate toolkit below includes a short animated series, a free Never Late Nate game, an attendance activity book, and downloadable resources such as classroom posters and daily checklists.

To learn more about Never Late Nate or purchase printed materials for your school, please contact info@wideanglemedia.org


Never late nate EPISODE one:

Attendance superhero Never Late Nate is preparing for another successful day at school when his cat Fluffy alerts him that there is a student on the verge of being late. Nate flies over to help but learns that the student in need is not the only person waiting for him…

Never Late Nate episode TWO:

Never Late Nate comes to Kate’s rescue in the long awaited second episode of Never Late Nate!

Never Late Nate Activity Book:

This Never Late Nate Activity Book was developed by young people in Wide Angle Youth Media’s Design Team in collaboration with AARP Foundation Experience Corps. 

Never Late Nate Game:

Get the App! Help Never Late Nate get to school on time in the Never Late Nate game available HERE.

The Never Late Nate game was designed by young people in a Wide Angle Youth Media workshop and developed by young people at Code in the Schools. This special project was supported by the Casey Fund for Youth Leadership of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

d0wnloadable RESOURCES:


Open Society Institute-Baltimore
The Baltimore School Climate Collaborative
Baltimore Education Research Consortium
AARP Foundation Experience Corps
Wide Angle Youth Media

Posted September 27th, 2016 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

Intern Perspective: Kaitlin Winchester

I started college just outside of Baltimore in 2013 and before then I could count my trips to the city on one hand. Coming here I wanted to feel like part of the city, but I didn’t know how to find my footing. A professor in my Media and Communication Studies program would talk about this great non-profit called Wide Angle Youth Media and as I learned more I knew I had to get involved, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I put off getting involved until Wide Angle hosted a workshop at a conference I was attending. Long story short, I attended their workshop and learned more about their impact and what they do, so I applied for an internship and here I am writing this blog post!

Starting, I knew I wanted to learn things like how Wide Angle interacts with social media and works with sponsors for their programs. After my internship began I learned about other ways I could get involved, like helping with the Youth Photography Traveling Exhibit (YPTE) that travels to Farmers’ Markets around the city.

On my first day I helped go through and package 100 copies of the book “This Is Baltimore,” that were created with portraits from YPTE. What struck me was the motivation behind the YPTE that resulted in the book. During and after the Baltimore uprising, students and staff felt the need to portray Baltimore youth positively, contrary to the image that was constructed by the media. As someone not originally from the city, this is not an issue that often dawns on me. So I decided to begin volunteering with pop-up exhibits at Farmers’ Markets displaying the portraits around the city. Displaying the photos in public spaces in addition to galleries is really important because not everyone has the access or time to go to an art gallery. These exhibits allow exposure for the incredible talent the youth participants have and give us the opportunity to spread the word about how other students can get involved.

We’ll be at three upcoming Farmers’ Markets:

  • The Baltimore Museum of Industry Market on Saturday July 30th from 9AM-1PM
  • The Downtown Market on Sunday July 31 from 7AM to Noon
  • The Waverly Market on Saturday September 17 from 7AM to Noon

I encourage everyone to brave the heat and come see me at the Downtown Market this Sunday!

kaitlin About Kaitlin:

I am about to start my fourth (and hopefully last) year at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am working toward a double major in Media and Communication Studies and International Relations with a certificate in French. After my internship I intend to stay involved with Wide Angle because I really believe in their mission and everyone here, from participants to staff, are truly amazing and have taught me so much in just two months.

Posted July 29th, 2016 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized by waym

Safe Spaces

Students from the Baltimore Speaks Out Program at Patterson Park Public Charter School share things that they find funny, things that they like, and things that they worry about when it comes to being a young person in Baltimore.

Baltimore Speaks Out Youth Producers:
Faith Carter-Topp
Desiree Garcia
Ceaser Jimenez-Zamudio
Malachi Jones
Ja’Niya Joseph
Joyce Kasiama
Omarion Lopez
Daniela Rodriguez
Ty’Jai Smith

Baltimore Speaks Out Assistant Youth Producers:
Maria Foreman
Ma’Kyah Gyant
Na’Kayah Hunt
Calin Jones
Joyce Kasiama
Sanai Matthews
Dallas Solomon
Jabez Solomon
Karon Williams


Posted June 7th, 2016 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Uncategorized, Video by waym


On April 28, 2015 – a day after Baltimore made headlines around the world for its collective response to the death of Freddie Gray – Wide Angle Youth Media students and staff were compelled to use their documentary skills to project positive images of Baltimore youth. Over the past year, Wide Angle Youth Media collected photographs at spring protests and through workshops at schools, libraries and organizations in more than 15 neighborhoods. The result is this compilation of youth produced photographs that show a city filled with hope, vitality and resilience.  This online publication is free for anyone to view, and over 200 hardcover copies of this book have been delivered to participating workshop sites, students, donors, community members, and a selection of local universities and libraries.

In addition to the book release, students in Wide Angle Youth Media’s advanced high school production program, the Mentoring Video Project, have created 9 audio stories reflecting on a memory from the past year.

Last spring, media producers across the world – many of whom had never before set foot in the city – flocked to Baltimore to cover its unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. In the wake of this activity, I felt urgent pride in the work happening at Wide Angle Youth Media (Wide Angle). While many media organizations were portraying the city in a negative light, Wide Angle was empowering students to continue sharing their stories with greater context.

In the months that followed, I challenged my students to think about what role they played in taking ownership of their narratives. Each student’s perspective and outlook on their surrounding environment is a reflection of their individual experiences in Baltimore. Students discussed in what ways the media failed to share highlights across the city beyond Freddie Gray and protests. And while we continued to reflect on the significance of the events of April 2015, we also began sharing personal momentums and achievements that added to Baltimore’s history in 2015. From winning a sports tournament to identity conflicts during the protests to attending anime conventions — these small moments represent a larger image of how its youth are participating in and contributing to the city’s lifeline.

Based on these discussions, Wide Angle producers from the Mentoring Video Project produced a collection of events that impacted them throughout the year. They reflect on the larger community values and records, that cannot be replaced with big media. – Mawish Raza, MVP Lead Instructor


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Support for This Is Baltimore has been made possible by: Baltimore Community Foundation’s Rebuilding Baltimore Fund, Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Maryland Humanities Council’s Humanities Fund for Baltimore, Maryland Public Television, Maryland State Arts Council, MurthyNAYAK Foundation, and Open Society Institute-Baltimore. Over 150 students, staff, community members, and volunteers also helped bring this project to life.

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Interested in purchasing a hardcover book of your own? E-mail info@wideanglemedia.org.

Posted March 15th, 2016 in Baltimore, Blog, Homepage, News, Slider, Uncategorized by waym