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Loyola connects campus and community through service on York Road Community Days


Earlier this month, students from Loyola University Maryland served their greater community by participating in a York Road Community Day. Loyola’s Center for Community Service, and Justice (CCSJ) and York Road Initiative Office (YRI) put on York Road Community Days during each academic semester. On these York Road Days, students participate in activities to give back to the York Road Community. 

Students gathered around 9:30 am and the day began with a brief background about the history of York Road and the redlining that has occurred throughout the neighborhoods of Baltimore. The CCSJ student interns explained the long history of selling property to only white families on the West side of York Road, and selling property to black families on the East side. 

The York Road Corridor that borders the Evergreen Campus is a historic dividing line in Baltimore.  The corridor separated the primarily white neighborhoods on the West side of Baltimore, and the primarily Black neighborhoods on the East side of Baltimore. 

The leaders delved into Loyola’s history with redlining on York Road, as we are a predominately white institution on the West side of York Road. One of the aims of the York Road Community Day is to break down some of these still existing barriers of red lining in the community while also teaching students about York Road. 

Moira McKinley ’24, a participant at the York Road Day, said: “I love the York Road days because I feel like I get to contribute to my community and form connections with Loyola’s neighbors.”

The students were then partnered with the student interns from the CCSJ. These groups each performed different tasks on the York Road Corridor to give back to the community and beautify the neighborhood. The intent of York Road Day is to connect Loyola with its neighbors on the block adjacent to the campus. This event builds community within the students and the local residents. 

Kyra McDonnell ’22, a York Road Initiative Civic Capacity Intern said: “These days are so much more than just clean ups, they invoke collaboration which positively impacts communities and encourages us as Loyola students to be better community members and neighbors.”

Students engaged in a variety of different cleanup activities along the corridor including weed whacking, tree pruning, mulch spreading, and trash clean up. Students used their Saturday morning to clean up and connect with their community. Not only does this clean up the corridor and make improvements to the beautification and greenery of the block, but it connects students with their direct neighbors and helps strengthen the relationship between Loyola and the residents of York Road.

Featured Image courtesy of Rebecca Aurigemma

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Loyola connects campus and community through service on York Road Community Days