The purpose of the Arch Social Community Network (ASCN) is to promote the social, cultural and intellectual development of the under-served African American populations in Baltimore City, Maryland.
To put matters in perspective, the April 2015 FREDDY GRAY UPRISING, where thousands of Black youths battled the police and the Maryland National Guard in the streets, was ultimately an expression of their frustration with the dead-end nature of their lives. “GROUND ZERO,” where the central battles took place, was literally on the doorstep of ASCN Headquarters (Pennsylvania Avenue @ North Avenue).
Who were the people who stared down the police? West Baltimore (Zip Code 21217), the site of the Freddie Gray Uprising–in regards to population density and poverty–ranks among biggest slums in the United States.
Estimated Zip Code 21217 population in 2013: 40,443 (Landmass: 2.3 miles)
Median household income: $21,969 (Maryland: $73,971 / US: $53,657)
Median house or condo value: $43,104 / Renters: 70% (Maryland: 34%)
Median contract rent: $779
Unemployment: 20% (Grotesque under-estimate)
Residents below the poverty level: 37%
Median resident age: 39.3 / (20.2% Currently Married / 57.5 Never Married)
In short, the so-called rioters were young and impoverished. They have little schooling, few prospects for employment and they live in a cultural desert.
Who loves these people? Who wants them?
Arch Social Community Network does.
And there is no greater love than service.
–Van Anderson, Chairman