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Familial Sense of Care: Documenting Baltimore’s ‘Guardians’

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There is a warm and fuzzy connotation attached to “community art” that marginalizes the genre from the usual realm of fine art. “Community-building” is a mechanism of public art, and it’s often used without much thought about what it means to actually build or be in a community: to navigate complicated dynamics and bridge gaps, care for each other, work with/for/against each other, fight with/for/against each other, mess up, and take accountability.

Within the wider art world—an artificial silo in and of itself, falsely separated from the rest of the world—community-based art and public art are typically sidelined and discounted, seen as a net good with no need to overthink their substance or contents. But on the ground, artists and community members often discuss (or at least they should) whether and how a certain place-based art project works with the people who are going to live with it. Like all art worth discussing, art that is made by, for, and with a community can reveal so much about the individuals, collectives, dynamics, conflicts, and coherences therein. Community art should enable us to think critically (and hopefully productively) about how we currently live amongst one another in this strange-ass world, and maybe how we can all become a little better at it.

Baltimore-based public artist Whitney Frazier’s latest collaborative project builds upon nearly two decades of her community-based art practice. The Guardians: Reshaping History is a multimedia artwork that shares the stories of Black women in Baltimore working towards better, healthier, safer conditions in their neighborhoods. Frazier partnered with photographer and filmmaker Kirby Griffin, who took the eye-catching, banner-sized photographs of these 13 women that are currently on view throughout the Carroll Mansion’s interior, on the mansion’s exterior, and on the front of City Hall. The portraits are lovely, rich in color and texture, and monumental in ways, meant to pay respect to the chronically under-acknowledged work that Black women do to care for their communities. 

 

Audrey Carter, East Oliver. Photo: Kirby Griffin

The project arose from relationships Frazier made across Baltimore, creating murals and wayfinding markers, public parks and gardens, and other public art. Some of the Guardians featured are people Frazier has worked with and knows well; some she had just met because other Guardians recommended them for the project. They all either grew up in or are longtime residents of Baltimore City.

The idea for The Guardians sprang up about five years ago, Frazier says, and it was really set in motion thanks to a 2020 Rubys Artist Grant, which covered some of the project costs and paid Griffin for his contributions. (Disclosure: BmoreArt hired Griffin to make photos for a story in our latest print magazine. The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which supports BmoreArt, contributed additional funds to The Guardians project.)

Far more than a simple introduction to the women’s faces and work, The Guardians project aims to offer a closer look. Presented and coordinated by The Peale, the project’s digital component features individual interviews with each Guardian about what inspired them to join their community association, build a garden or a rec center, organize neighborhood cleanups, engage with youth, or connect with formerly incarcerated folks, among numerous other efforts. Many interviews delve into the personal and spiritual dimensions of what they do, and several women touch on specific issues facing their Baltimore neighborhoods, including police misconduct, city/state disinvestment, inequitable development, gentrification, eminent domain, food deserts, and much more. 

It’s an intergenerational group representing a handful of Baltimore neighborhoods. Many of the Guardians are mothers and grandmothers; some also see their community role as a form of mothering. There is Audrey Carter, from the Oliver neighborhood, an educator who says working with young people is her “ministry.” Her contributions to school and church projects, youth groups, community cleanups, and food drops are motivated by a familial sense of care, and according to her interview, she’s good at bringing more people in to help out. “I think I take care of myself when I’m taking care of people,” she says. “When I know people are okay, I’m okay.”

 

Cherring Spence, Park Lane. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Samirah Franklin, West Baltimore. Photo: Kirby Griffin

There is Samirah Franklin, from West Baltimore, who teaches leadership development to youth, and who has helped restore city funding for youth programs. Graduating high school just after the 2015 Baltimore Uprising motivated Franklin to work in her community; among other efforts, she helped interview her neighbors about police misconduct, information that went into formulating the BPD’s federal consent decree

Tayler Mugar is a young woman who has been part of the movement to get formerly incarcerated Baltimoreans back into the workforce (she’s also a poet). Her mother, Antoinette Mugar, a registered nurse and the Vice President of the Harlem Park West Community Association (which she also co-founded), is here too; she speaks about community care as a form of health and wellness. 

Cherring Spence is the president of the Parklane Neighborhood Association in Park Heights; she’s lived in the neighborhood off and on for over 20 years, and has lived in Baltimore for nearly 50 years. A highlight for her has been “the job that we as seniors have done” including starting a community garden. “You got to do it because you love it. You got to do it because you’re concerned about the community that we live in,” she says. “Because otherwise it can be very stressful.”

Gwen Brown is a longtime organizer with BUILD (Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development) and current community engagement coordinator at Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore. She has advocated raises for low-paid workers, jobs for youth and adults, and increased after-school funding. She also helped collect stories for the BPD consent decree. Brown is something of a conduit for community work—her name comes up in several Guardians’ interviews.

 

The Guardians opening at Carroll Mansion, presented by the Peale, in November
Sheree Briscoe, Mount Washington. Photo: Kirby Griffin

I was surprised to see someone from the Baltimore Police Department in this project. In Griffin’s photo of Deputy Commissioner Sheree Briscoe, she stands in uniform, with a modest confidence, a quarter-moon of sunlight on her face, in front of a boarded-up building. In her interview, Briscoe talks about policing as “relationship-building” and shares her long association with the Western District, starting there as a rookie cop in 1995 and eventually becoming the district’s commander three weeks after the Baltimore Uprising, a response to Freddie Gray’s gruesome death in police custody, after cops chased and arrested him in that very district. 

Briscoe describes the particularly ripe feelings of rage present at that moment, and admits “not knowing what step to take next from the seat of policing,” and deciding to “reach out from the place in my heart as a human.” She says that BPD “has not always done well or right by its citizenry,” and says, near the end, “I get the need for policing, but I often wonder, is there another way? Because I really want us to be able to provide for, reason with, uplift, educate, comfort, support each other in a way that policing means something totally different and looks totally different than we see it now.”

After so many cycles of brutality, protest, discussions of reform, and debates about police power over communities, it would be absurd if someone at such a high level didn’t think the department needed change. Briscoe’s concerns about changing the massive institution are interesting and encouraging. But they also echo common pacifying rhetoric that rarely comes with actual, beneficial change—because what does it take for a historically harmful force to change? And it is frustrating to see the notoriously corrupt Baltimore Police Department here, associated with other far less-resourced community organizations, especially given the ways that BPD continues to delegitimize itself. Police have disrupted the lives and violated the trust of communities that need substantive resources, and many citizens have made clear where they’d prefer their tax money go rather than into the BPD’s half-a-billion-dollar budget. 

The Guardians project isn’t a roadmap to activism, and you do not have to interpret it as an endorsement of all the frameworks, methods, and organizations that it presents. Viewing the whole project as an artwork encourages a deeper inquiry, allowing us to contend with the facets, nuances, and tensions that are implicit but abundant within it. For me, the project raises critical questions about power, including whether change from within is even possible, and it lets viewers figure out where to go, or where to tap in, from there. It also records some of the hopes and frictions within a specific time and place.

Frazier wants The Guardians to be ongoing. Assembling this first cohort and putting together the exhibition took more than a year of funding, planning, and coordinating. The people involved in the first iteration are quick to note how many more Guardians are out there. In a city so marked by its apparent lack (of political conviction, funding, equity, resources, etc.), it is worth knowing who is constructing and building, who is advocating for and with their communities and neighbors.

I spoke with Frazier and Griffin to learn more about their collaboration on The Guardians, the textures of a place, theories of change, and more. The Guardians exhibition is on view at the Carroll Mansion through the end of January 2022.

 

The Guardians opening at Carroll Mansion, presented by the Peale, in November

Rebekah Kirkman: How did the two of you get acquainted? Is this your first collaboration together?

Whitney Frazier: When I was talking about doing this project, I reached out to our mutual friend TT the Artist, who I went to school with at MICA, and she recommended Kirby. They had worked together on the Dark City Beneath the Beat film. We talked and right away it felt like a good fit.

Kirby Griffin: When Whitney brought the project to me, I was like, “This is exactly the reason that I became an artist.” These are exactly the projects that I would love to create, and have been trying to create, so I thought it was just a perfect spotlight for the city. I thought the subject was perfect, the ideas she had were amazing, and it was ambitious because she was being bold, and that really excited me. That gave me a certain level of respect for her. It didn’t really take much convincing; when she presented the project and I got to meet her in person, I was already in.

Give me an intro to yourself, your work, your background, how you got into the work you do. Kirby, what you just said about Whitney’s project being just the kind of thing you were trying to work on—what kind of work are you trying to do?

Kirby Griffin: I’ve been specifically wanting to tell stories of Baltimore, mainly because that’s what I know. As a filmmaker, everybody’s always expecting you to run to LA or New York. Just 10 years ago, the internet shifted that, where you didn’t have to be in LA or New York, not fully. If I’m being honest with myself, I would be making a lot more money if I was in LA, but I’d probably be a lot less happy. I wouldn’t be around a culture that I’m familiar with. I have no business with palm trees in the backgrounds of my shots, because that’s not the life that I know, it’s not the culture that I know. To see rowhomes in the background of my shots, it translates different, and that’s what I got a love for. 

The industry of Hollywood in general represents everything that I’m against in so many ways. Everything is to be commercialized, or dramatized for the sake of entertaining. Some people think a lot of drama or cars blowing up and CGI graphics and superheroes is entertainment. And I’m more concerned about telling real stories of real people, faces that you don’t get to see on TV all the time, accents that you don’t get to hear on TV all the time. It’s been a journey, it’s a test, but it’s a battle I feel fully prepared on taking, putting Baltimore in the spotlight. I’m not interested in telling the stories of everybody in the world. I feel like people from their specific areas and cultures should be telling their own stories, and that’s what I strive to do for Baltimore.

Whitney Frazier: I came to Baltimore to go to MICA, and grew up in wealthy white suburbs in Texas, and I was radicalized when I came to Baltimore and saw what I saw in terms of poverty and neglect and blight. I quickly got involved in community arts projects, which helped me learn about people in neighborhoods all across Baltimore. Art was the connector, and everywhere I went, I felt loved and welcomed. Even if it was difficult as a white person—I was challenged constantly, but I felt like it was important to my process as an artist, to put myself out there and learn in that way. Over time, learning about Baltimore and working in the neighborhoods that I worked in—mainly under-resourced neighborhoods—I connected with guardians who were spearheading projects, looking out for the young people and after-school programs, visioning new things and better things for their communities, or held onto the stories of what the communities or neighborhoods used to look like. 

So the project grew out of those moments and a long time of doing that work. I have a background in community organizing, and I’ve worked with a lot of community organizers. What excites me, and where I’m heading with my art, is how art and organizing can pair together to make real change. Since The Guardians exhibit, some of the Guardians have come to me and told me how many more resources are being offered to them now, for programs and projects they already had going on. Or now they’re at the table with the lieutenant police officer talking about the real issues going on in their communities, and their voice is being heard in a different way because they’re recognized through the art project.

 

 

Sharon Snow, Cylburn. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Gwen Brown, Govans. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Joy Ross, Harlem Park West. Photo: Kirby Griffin

I was gonna ask if you had done a project on this scale before. You’re talking to people all over Baltimore, and the photographs themselves are huge, and it’s an intentional choice to put them in historic places like the Carroll Mansion and on City Hall. But maybe my question isn’t really relevant, because you just said that it grew out of the work you were already doing.

Whitney Frazier: It felt timely in terms of my career to say, “Oh, I’ve been involved 18, 19 years; I’ve seen this place.” I’ve made this network of people, and now it’s time to bring those people together and look at this on a grander scale. How do we make this city a better place? We do that by lifting up the work these women are doing. I think it would be hard to replicate this project in another place. It has so much to do with, for me, growing up in Baltimore, even though I wasn’t born here.

Can you say more about how you met the women who are featured? Tell me about that network and how it came together.

Whitney Frazier: One of my mentors, Gwen Brown, is one of the Guardians who I met right out of undergrad, working with BUILD and Child First Authority. Gwen was running an after-school program at the time, and then developed her skills as a community organizer and started working with lots of women on the west side, right as Freddie Gray was killed. Gwen had a lot of relationships in Harlem Park and West Baltimore. And then I was introduced to Miss Pauline Charles in Darley Park about 10 years ago through Gwen and another organizer, Lottie Sneed, and so I had a longer-term relationship with Miss Pauline and definitely wanted to feature her story. I was most recently working with some awesome women in Park Heights… so yeah, it varies. Some Guardians recommended other Guardians, some I’d had longer-term relationships with, and some I had just met. But they all identified as female, Black, they were living in under-resourced communities and taking on roles in the neighborhood associations or leadership roles in their immediate communities—and had been at it for a long time. They didn’t just move to Baltimore and start doing it.

What was the selection process like? I understand, at some point, you just have to finish the project and accept that it’s not going to literally cover everything, because there are so many people, so many guardians.

Whitney Frazier: Yeah. And the question also came up like, do they need to be women? Do they all need to identify as Black? I think, at least for right now, it’s important to have some of those identifiers as part of who we feature.

Can you say more about that?

Whitney Frazier: When I asked one of the Guardians that question last week, she described a moment in her own church where she had to stand up for herself and say, “Hey, he has the title. He gets the recognition all the time. I’m out doing the work in the community.” And that, I think, is so many women’s stories, where either they didn’t fight for that recognition, or they didn’t even know to ask for the recognition.

Kirby Griffin: It made sense for it to be all Black women because that’s been the foundation of those communities, forever. They’ve always been the ones that had to maintain structure even when they didn’t want to maintain structure, because it is not as easy for women to just up and leave children or a community behind. They are a lot more rooted wherever they are. As far as the amount, we had 13 women, and I think that the energy, that works for exactly what it was, it served its purpose because you can’t tell everybody’s story. Speaking of TT, when we were doing Dark City about Baltimore, there’s so many people that was like, “Well, y’all should interview this person…” It’s not possible. You’ve got to tell the story as is and leave room or time to figure out another way to tell another story, or allow other people to tell it. But you’re not going to tell one full story in totality with one project, it’s impossible. 

Whitney Frazier: Every photoshoot was unique, and we spent whatever amount of time in that neighborhood, and every interview was done in a home or a church. It wasn’t this formulaic thing you can have a tendency to get into when you’re like, “we have to do this number of people in this amount of time.”

It sounds like the connections and conversations were more authentic. You couldn’t be as present, perhaps, with 25 people all at once.

Whitney Frazier: And they all got to know each other and meet and be together on a monthly basis, probably, for the whole year—and even more intensely over the last month when the show actually happened. They could all fit in my living room for reflection.

Were those meetings just to hang and get to know each other? Was it to talk about the project specifically?

Whitney Frazier: It was a space to ask questions and get their input on different directions for the project. It was also a space for them to hear about each other’s work and their neighborhoods and share resources. I’ve been using that word way too much. But it was one of my biggest goals, that by being connected from east side to west side, or north to south, that they see themselves as part of a larger movement or team or collective or connection. So much of what they do, they’re doing on their own in their neighborhoods all the time. 

 

Antoinette Mugar, Harlem Park West. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Tayler Mugar, Harlem Park West. Photo: Kirby Griffin

I attended the artist talk, and one thing I appreciated and want to hear more about from Kirby is, you were talking about the texture and how texture is really important to your work. There’s literal texture in an image, and then there’s texture in a place—texture in this more abstract sense. Can you tell me more about what you mean?

Kirby Griffin: Texture allows you to feel without actually physically having to indulge in it. The moment you see certain types of texture, it brings you back to a space. If I was on another side of the world for however many years, the second I see a Baltimore rowhome in the background, that texture’s going to bring me back. I instantly know what the neighborhood felt like, I know what my friend’s home felt like, what my home felt like, what the basement smelled like. That was important to be able to see because I like people to look at my imagery and be able to feel something. There was a style that I like to experiment with that I call “deities on dirty backdrops,” and that’s how I envisioned all of these women, as deities in their own environments. I wanted to put them up against the grimiest backdrops I could find sometimes to juxtapose their presence in regards to the environment that they were trying to clean up.

Do either of you have a particular moment or interaction from working on this project that sticks with you? 

Kirby Griffin: I felt most fulfilled in the idea of Whitney wanting to present elders and put them on a pedestal. I don’t know if this is the social media era, or just an information age that we live in right now, but people cast elders out very fast, as if they don’t intend to get old themselves, or you don’t give elders their due until they are no longer here. I think it’s important to acknowledge them because when you’re young, you haven’t processed the fact that if you have the luxury of making it to old age, you’re going to be old for a lot longer than you’re going to be young. You should really respect the people that have been around and seen some things, that have things to give back. I feel like this is a showing of that respect while they’re here. And it’s not like, “hey, take these flowers for now”—we’re here to support whatever you got going on from here on out as well.

Whitney Frazier: One moment was when we were hanging the banner on Carroll Mansion, someone walked by and said, “Who are they?” And that’s exactly what we wanted: Who are these beautiful women, and why are they being honored, and they look like me? And people often just said, “thank you.” The Guardians said thank you, people that weren’t guardians said thank you. Not, to me, but I think just for the project and for the work. 

Listening to the interviews brings even more depth to the whole thing because you hear the women’s specific anecdotes and stories and what led them into wanting to change things. I’m curious what y’alls theory of change is. How does art help in the process of making change?

Whitney Frazier: What I’ve learned over the years from my mentors and colleagues is I need to be invited into a community or neighborhood. I would recommend for any artist that wants to work in neighborhoods that aren’t their own, that you do work with a Guardian, or an organization or a person that lives there, and that you’ve built a relationship with them, no matter what the project is. Because I don’t know what’s best for Park Heights, I don’t know what’s best for Darley Park. I can come up with all kinds of creative ideas, but that’s not necessarily what’s helpful—and in fact, that can be harmful. Kirby, as an artist who lives in West Baltimore, how do you see your role as an artist or your art-making impacting your immediate neighborhood or community?

Kirby Griffin: I always believed art was the best outlet for expression in general, because it’s free-form. You can express yourself however you feel, it doesn’t have to be verbally, it could be through music, it could be through movement. It’s one thing that people of all cultures can appreciate and that’s art. We may not speak the same language but we can enjoy the same sounds. 

I was watching Sardar Udham, an Indian film about a revolutionary freedom fighter in India. There was a scene in the film when he told a woman that he was in love with—because she was asking why he was willing to go as radical as he was—he was like, I’m fighting for the freedom of my people. And she was like, you should fight for the freedom of the world. He shook his head. He was like, no, I’m fighting for the freedom of my people because I have to set us free first before I can do anything else. I’m not against what you’re saying, but you’re asking me for more than I’m capable of, you’re asking me to do more when I haven’t even accomplished what I set out to do in the first place. 

And that’s part of the reason I like to tell stories of Baltimore, because when we look at our communities, a lot of times the struggles that we deal with get overlooked. In the audio, you listen to a lot of the Guardians speak, and it really matches why me and Whitney photographed them in the style that we did, because you got these beautiful women, these beautiful souls with these intentions, and in some of their stories, the reason they became who they are, it’s heartbreaking a lot of times. The loss that they took, the things that they have witnessed in their community, the things that they’re trying to change in their communities. Then you take a situation like this, for art, and it brings things full circle, because it allows everybody to connect. That’s the reason Whitney could come from the environment she came from in Texas and land in Baltimore and have a synonymous relationship and voice. That was me and Whitney’s first connection, our appreciation and our love for art and our want to change things, our want for things to be better.

Whitney Frazier: The women will talk about it, and I feel very similar, I don’t think The Wire did Baltimore any favors, so I guess this is my resistance, trying to make art that celebrates Baltimore and celebrates lives and lifts up the beauty. I think art has the power to do that, to change perspectives. I mean, that’s what The Wire did in some ways, you know? Kirby and I want the photos to have a sense of a hopeful feel. And even though the women have had hard lives and dealt with so much shit, we wanted them to be seen in a hopeful light.

 

Terrye Moore, Park Heights. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Dorothy Cunningham, Irvington. Photo: Kirby Griffin

Something I was hearing in a couple of the interviews that I listened to was the attitude that you can’t be apathetic. In one interview, a woman was noting how these days everyone is isolated and individualistic, and although there are people helping their communities and trying to affect change, we always need more. Also, I stumbled across something the police/prison abolitionist organizer Mariame Kaba said on Twitter today, I’m just gonna read it to you: “Been thinking a lot lately about people who say that they despair because they can’t single-handedly save the world. There’s a strange thing that I notice particularly in the U.S. where some people think that they have to take heroic action or no action at all.” She goes on to say that her friends and comrades hear this all the time, but you have to recognize that everyone’s in a position to do something. You just have to take steps towards the thing, and it’s a collective struggle. That is an important, subtle thing that comes through in this project—the connections amongst a lot of women’s work here, and the ways that no singular one thing, or singular person, is going to turn a whole thing around. 

Whitney Frazier: One of my white friends who came to the show, who lives in Pikesville, her reflection was like, “wow, I need to do more, I need to be in service to my own community.” She’s like, “these women are doing so much, and I look at my life, and I’m like, what am I doing?” I know “service” can be a word that people don’t like to use, but be in service to something or someone outside of your everyday life, like, okay, I take care of my kids, I go to work, I do this thing. Even the smallest thing in your own community can make a change.

With my background in organizing, what I’ve learned is that focusing locally is really important, for me, to see small changes happen. Having a rec center be rebuilt, it’s really empowering to be like, “I helped make that thing happen.” Something that many of the women have seen happen is their efforts, as small as they are sometimes, make those changes in their immediate community and improve people’s lives. It’s overwhelming, and kind of a defeatist attitude—and not really the right way to think—to think that you need to change the world.

It’s interesting, too, because Baltimore is a hard place to live for a lot of people, but when something like The Wire is presenting the city a certain way to a broad audience, then it becomes a symbol for the whole place to people who don’t actually know the place. 

Kirby Griffin: I mean, some of what The Wire shows is a real thing that is a part of the city, but that is a part of every city in America. The problem is the lack of balance. We don’t see the other sides, we just get The Wire. And through the power of media—we all have a thing subconsciously, that whatever we see on the TV, we kind of take as real life. Granted, you grow out of it, but you can’t shake the idea that when you were young, when you were a child, you thought things on TV were real. So you’ve got to spend another X-amount of years of your life trying to undo the idea. 

Whitney Frazier: When Audrey [Carter]’s kids saw her on City Hall, it’s like the shift that you’re talking about, Kirby. We are so used to seeing something negative or violence glorified in the media. But now we’re looking at someone who is doing good work, who’s been lifted up and put on that platform.

Kirby Griffin: Right now, we don’t see that. That hasn’t been a “cool” thing. Anytime something is blasted out there on the public level, it’s like, what happened? In these environments, the only time somebody ends up on a T-shirt or on a wall is when they’re dead. So to put somebody or to put multiple people up on the wall and put them up on a pedestal for something positive, for something that they are still currently doing, it’s not seen too much. And that has to become the norm at some point.

Listening to some of the women’s stories, I found myself thinking of other people doing similar work, and also found myself wanting even more details about the women and what they do. I was also surprised that policing is, in a way, part of this project. The Baltimore Police Department is notoriously corrupt. Can you tell me about what it was like to include Deputy Commissioner Sheree Briscoe in this project? 

Whitney Frazier: We talked about this, Kirby, at some point, before the photo shoot or after the photo shoot. For me, she is trying to change the institution. She’s a fighter, she’s on the inside doing really good work. And it’s amazing, being in her presence and how humble she was and is and how relational she is with all the others—she doesn’t see herself as separate or different or above, I’ll just say that much. I understand all of the tension of how it might have been viewed to include a police officer, but that’s what we’re talking about—we’ve got to show the good with the bad, we’ve got to show people doing good work.

Kirby Griffin: When I see police officers involved in anything, I’m always just like, “who invited them?” if I’m being honest, just because of my relationship in my neighborhood with law enforcement. But it’s necessary [to include her] because, essentially, she represents an organization that has failed to do everything that the Guardians are trying to do right now, if we want to be completely transparent about it. With that being said, law enforcement is necessary and it has to be here—at least until we get to a point that we can police our own communities. So she represents someone who is trying to [effect change] on a grander scale, because you can’t always do everything on the street level. You need that part as well, but then you do need somebody who has more resources behind them that can actually make things happen.

Granted, she can’t do it by herself, that’s impossible. But that she’s trying, that is enough, and her husband is involved, and her husband is with her, so that’s saying a lot. She represents what law enforcement could be, what it should be in so many ways. I think it brings it full circle because everything that our Guardians are trying to combat in their communities are things that law enforcement should be trying to do, day in and day out, but has proved time and time again, that’s just not the case. So we do need somebody involved on that side as well.

Whitney Frazier: One thing that would be powerful moving forward, is how do the Guardians interact with younger Guardians or a younger generation? You have to work, you have to get a seat at the table, you’ve got to work with people like Sheree Briscoe, you’ve got to work with Mayor Scott, you’ve got to work with people in these positions if you really, in my opinion, want to get things done. What I’ve learned and observed is, if you want to be at the table to be making real change, you’ve got to learn how to negotiate and work at different levels and with different leaders and different institutions. And I want the younger generation to learn from the Guardians about some of that work.

 

Yeshiyah Israel, Pimlico/Park Heights. Photo: Kirby Griffin
Pauline Charles, Darley Park. Photo: Kirby Griffin

Images courtesy of Whitney Frazier. Individual portraits of the Guardians by Kirby Griffin.

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