Eric Baker, a second year student at Loyola University Maryland, is a student leader active in issues of racial justice, violence prevention, and community building in Baltimore. As a first year student, he worked to empower men of color on our campus with leadership skills and subsequently joined Campus Compact's LeaderShape program. Following the uprising in our city last April, Eric became deeply engaged with 300 Men March, a nonprofit focused on decreasing community violence in Baltimore neighborhoods. Eric volunteers every Friday night as part of the Street Engagement Unit, engaging neighborhood youth in the anti-violence. In August, Eric joined 40 men in an overnight, 35-mile walk to Washington, D.C., to demonstrate commitment to ending the epidemic of violence in Baltimore and other cities around the nation. All the while, Eric volunteers weekly after school to serve as a role model to middle school students. Eric is a hopeful, humble, compassionate, and grounded leader who will continue to dedicate himself to ending issues of racism and violence by organizing, inspiring, and supporting Baltimore's youth to create change in our city.
Since giving my life to Jesus, I have recognized the importance of taking action with my values of love, faith, and growth. I'm committed to justice because of the impact that racist oppression; violence, mass incarceration, poverty, etc., has had on me and my community. Since April 2015, I've served as a member of 300 Men March Street Engagement Unit. Every Friday night we walk and engage youth in high crime neighborhoods. My dedication to changing the destructive culture can be seen by our 35-mile, 20 hour fundraising walk from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. in August 2015. My call for community accountability and empowerment parallels my work against the system of ignorance that causes these problems in Baltimore. At Loyola, I spearheaded a demonstration exposing the racist campus climate and demanded a mandatory racial justice training program. In response, I've been included in Loyola's Presidential Task Force that is charged with forming and implementing mandatory campus wide racial education training for all new students, staff, and administrators. I am motivated to inspire others through my involvement and everyday interactions. The path to healing the emotional, physical, and psychological consequences of racism is a path of education, hope, and equity.