Remarks by President Ronald J. Daniels (as prepared)
HCPI Press Conference
Mason Hall
Dec. 6, 2012

Thanks, Andy. And good morning. I’m delighted to see all of you, and to welcome you the Homewood campus. As Andy highlighted, there are a number of important people in this room, but I want to extend a special welcome to my counterpart at MICA – Fred Lazarus. The energy and goodwill his institution has brought to our city has been remarkable, and I am grateful for our long-standing relationship.

About a year ago, we co-founded a project called the Homewood Community Partners Initiative. It is a multi-directional partnership that unites the efforts of strong community groups and civic leaders working in 10 neighborhoods around the Homewood campus. These are people and organizations committed to issues that range from creating new housing to improving public schools.

It had become exceedingly clear that the interests of our neighbors – safe streets, the elimination of blighted properties, development of the local workforce – are also the interests of our university. After all, the future of Johns Hopkins is inextricably tied to that of its community, and we are deeply and purposefully committed to Baltimore’s success.

Imbued with this spirit, united with our Homewood neighbors, we decided to strategically focus our shared efforts in on five priorities, from ensuring clean, safe neighborhoods to supporting local purchasing and workforce development. Through many conversations, our partners discovered a marvelously convergent view of what we believed our communities could be. Together, we then created a detailed plan that set a path for the collaboration.

Today, I’m happy to announce that Johns Hopkins is committing $10 million over the next five years to support HCPI priorities. This investment is intended not only to animate the momentum we gathered over the past year, but to leverage and spark support from other public and private sources.

This is the kind of funding that might help fill a gap as we lure strategic investors to a development in the HCPI footprint. It might support a neighborhood improvement fund that provides small grants for local projects. Or it might support the work of students in our Center for Social Concern as they plan out volunteer efforts with HCPI partners. 

HCPI is not only about writing checks. This partnership involves convening, collaborating and agitating on behalf of our shared cause. But this $10 million investment represents one concrete way that Johns Hopkins will support the diverse and visionary efforts of our partners to build a more vibrant, active and growing urban area.  

I am delighted with how this remarkable relationship of equals has developed. I want to thank two members of my staff, Andy Frank and Salem Reiner, not only for representing the university as HCPI took shape, but for doing so in a way that expresses their genuine affection for this city, and their commitment to its residents.

Today’s announcement does not mark the beginning of HCPI’s implementation. We and our partners have already started working on many of the initiative’s key recommendations.

Specifically, Johns Hopkins is committed to leveraging its considerable investments in hiring and construction, as well as its purchasing power, to promote the growth of local, minority- and women-owned businesses and to foster greater diversity at all levels of employment.

This commitment means we will be setting goals to use more Baltimore suppliers and construction contractors, and to find creative ways to support the growth of local companies. As we put this university-wide effort into practice over the next year, it will support not only HCPI, but all of Baltimore.

This initiative follows on Johns Hopkins’ significant engagement in other parts of the city, including a more than $20 million investment in the East Baltimore Development initiative, next to our medical campus. HCPI is just one more way this university will support Baltimore’s progress.

Leading that progress, of course, is Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The Mayor has been a strong supporter of Baltimore’s anchor institutions since she took her current office nearly three years ago. My hope is that HCPI, and some of the other efforts Johns Hopkins has undertaken, will advance her vision for Baltimore – helping all of us enjoy stronger neighborhoods, safer streets, better schools and a growing population. I’m delighted the Mayor could join us here today. Mayor?