Spotlighting Our Host City
2022 NASPA is only a few months away and there has been a flurry of activity to provide an engaging and interactive conference for those who will be joining us in Baltimore, Maryland either place-based or virtually. The tagline of the Visit Baltimore website is “Renew Your Spirit of Exploration” and the city offers many opportunities to indulge your inner explorer. History. Food. Art. Recreation. This city on the Inner Harbor has it all.
A place steeped in higher education, Baltimore is home to a total of 15 colleges and universities in its 92 square miles. That’s one institution of higher learning for every six miles! A mixture of public, private, and community colleges, the city is home to almost 145,000 students which makes it a perfect backdrop for NASPA and the focus of our work as educators.
As we prepare to reconvene for the annual conference, the Opening Reception Committee has been working to answer the following questions to connect you to this beautiful place:
- How do we anchor NASPA in the city of Baltimore?
- How do we honor the indigenous communities and ancestors of Baltimore?
- How do we honor the communities of color that live, work, and learn in Baltimore?
In our planning, it has been very important for us to keep these central questions in mind. Personally, I have learned so much about the city in the past few weeks. Baltimore does not have a single identity, but rather, it has several. I have come to understand that Baltimore is historical, complex, artistic, adventurous, whimsical, educated, talented, entrepreneurial, fun, and creative. In an effort to keep these multiple identities present and honor the history and uniqueness of the city, the Opening Reception planning committee will present Baltimore: A City of Neighborhoods to NASPA attendees in March
Baltimore is an intricate map of over 200 neighborhoods, each with its own story, personality, and treasures. We hope to introduce you to some of these neighborhoods during the Opening Reception in a way that will center Baltimore in our NASPA experience and connect you to the history, people, businesses, and food of the area. The Baltimore American Indian Center and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture will provide you insight into the accomplishments and struggles of Indigenous and Black peoples who laid the foundations of the area. Local vendors will satisfy your foodie cravings and provide an opportunity to support the community of small business owners. You will be amazed by the talents of local singers, artisans, and other performers. The neighborhoods of Baltimore will speak to your soul and engage your senses. Our Opening Reception planning committee can’t wait to introduce you to a small taste of what these neighborhoods have to offer and hope you will be inspired to spend more time learning about and engaging with our host city during your NASPA experience. See you in March!