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As a resident of the Maryland, Baltimore is close to my heart. This morning when I thought about the city, tears came to my eyes. I cried for a city with a  history of leaders and revolutionaries.

When you watch the news, it only paints one dismal picture of Baltimore: black youth looting and rioting. But in reality there are many peaceful protests taking place and there are youth who are trying to make sense of their community in the middle of chaos. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the manner in which the youth are expressing their discontent with the untimely deaths of young black men, we must all agree that changes need to made in our justice system so hope can be restored.

When I went to church, the Pastor said very clearly. “PRAY FOR OUR CITY, PRAY FOR BALTIMORE.” He mentioned Baltimore needing to establish a community of mentors for the youth, a safe haven for them to live without dying at the hands of police.

My heart aches because this is 2015 and I feel like history is repeating itself before my eyes and it hurts because what have we learned from the past?

If you want to know what’s going on in Baltimore from a different point of view, check out my friend Chip Dizard’s (a film maker, and teacher in Baltimore) Documentary that he’s working on about the city entitled “Oh Baltimore, A Documentary Film.”  He will be on CNN today at 11 a.m. EST on the @This Hour show w/John Berman & Kate Bolduan. (For a 4 to 5 minute segment) about the situation in Baltimore, so tune in to hear his perspective.

Before I end this post, I would like to share a prayer for Baltimore. 

Dear God,

Thank you for life, freedom, and family. Give the families in Baltimore peace and change. Give the youth understanding and hope. Help the youth and the police make amends so that justice will one day be unbiased. Give the police discernment to do their jobs confidently. Allow revisions to be made that will help civil rights be equal to all citizens. Give the citizens in Baltimore insight, so they can trust their city officials and law makers to have their best interest in mind. Calm the unrest, and heal the wounds that has arose. Help the citizens to make wise decisions. Calm the storm. Help bring this community of people regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, age, or economic group together so that they can one day become one of the greatest cities in the nation.

Thank you for hearing my prayer amen.