Nia Redmond, pictured above seated in the new library space, is the visionary behind the creation of the East Baltimore Historical Library, with the support of Johns Hopkins. Redmond encouraged Johns Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels to continue investing in the East Baltimore community. (Photo by J.J. McQueen)

By J.J. McQueen
Special to the AFRO

The preservation of a community requires the effort of many. Most importantly, the steadfastness of a visionary. One who is unafraid to confront every issue, challenge the strong and the weak, and praise everyone that commits to the assignment. Ms. Nia Redmond is the epitome of what an assignment of this magnitude is requires. 

In 2002, the then-Baltimore City Mayor and city council approved plans to create a new mixed use, mixed income community in East Baltimore. Redmond along with a host of politicians, educators, invested community members and John Hopkins University sat down at the table to devise a plan that would not only propel the area forward, but preserve the rich history of East Baltimore. 

Fast forward almost two decades, and the East Baltimore Historical Library is now open to the public. On Dec. 1, the ribbon cutting of the historic row homes preserved during construction for the Henderson-Hopkins School which now serve as the library. 

This project was a vision supported by current Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels, who was praised by EBHL visionary Nia Redmond. “President Daniels gets it, he understands the balance between family, smart growth and economics,”she said. 

Also singing the praises of the new library’s existence was East Baltimore native City Council Member Antonio Glover, who paid homage to the pioneers of the community.

Mayor Brandon Scott added his thoughts as well, “This library will not only preserve the everyday memories of this school, but those of this city.”

Proclamations were presented by current city council president Nick Mosby, and former council president and mayor Jack Young. 

Ms. Redmond summed up the library project by turning to Johns Hopkins President and saying, “This a magical project, and I challenge Johns Hopkins to continue to invest in East Baltimore, because you all have done some wonderful things for this community. I hope your efforts remain authentic.”

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