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Listen...Talk...Learn: NDMU for Change

Social responsibility and service—they're at the core of our mission statement and at the heart of a Notre Dame education. On this page, we share the words and deeds of our students, faculty and staff members, and graduates who live out these values in class, in our city, and around the world, as well as news and messages about the Freddie Gray case.


Black History Month 2016

NDMU is hosting a number of events for Black History Month, from Karaoke & Poetry to a redlining tour of Baltimore. Check the Event Calendar for our next event!

Healing Racism Workshop

The psychology department is sponsoring a Healing Racism Workshop, Thursday, Oct 1 from 12:15-1:30 in Doyle Formal. We are bringing an expert in the field, Dr. Dietra Hawkins, to campus.


That's the number of service hours donated by the Notre Dame community last year! For an institution of our size, this translates into almost 40 hours of service per student, with much of the work taking place in Baltimore City. Visit our service page to learn more.

"A Whitewashed Version of History"

Read philosophy professor Desiree Melton's opinion piece in the Washington Post on the depiction of slavery at Montecello, and visitor behavior when confronting the past. 

Common Read

The University Common Read this year is Five Days at Memorial, a book about the impact of Hurricane Katrina that raises questions intersecting those around recent unrest in our city. Attend a free lecture by author Sherri Fink on October 13.

Faculty Article on Civil Unrest in Baltimore 

Shelley PuhakShelley Puhak '97, Notre Dame's Sister Maura Eichner Professor of English, wrote an essay on the recent civil unrest in Baltimore. Originally published in The Weeklings, the article subsequently appeared on Salon.com.

ELI Students Cook for First Responders

On Friday, May 3, the Mary Burch Harmon's Listening and Speaking class at the English Language Institute made 23 casseroles for the Baltimore Police and Fire Departments in response to a request to help feed the additional personnel. It was a wonderful opportunity for the students to talk about the issues, as well as have a direct impact on helping with the crisis. The students were excited  to be part of this.

The casseroles were  delivered on Saturday to the Western District police station and a local fire station.


Monday, May 4

Dear Students,

This has been a very difficult, yet meaningful time for the city of Baltimore.  Throughout the week, many students have expressed strong emotions related to racial inequities in our justice system along with a sense of hope that change is on the horizon. 

The NDMU Counseling Center recognizes that this is an important time for thoughtful reflection.

As always, support is available for students who may feel the need to process their reactions with someone.

Confidential, free counseling is available at the Counseling Center in the basement of Theresa Hall.  For those who seek counseling services, the counseling center will continue to provide services throughout the summer.

To make an appointment, please complete the online appointment request form:


If you encounter a situation that requires immediate help, call campus security at ext. 6666 or the Baltimore Crisis Response Hotline 410-433-5175.

As the news continues to unfold keep in mind the importance of talking about your feelings, and continue to show your support to one another

Amy S. Provan, Psy.D.

Director of Counseling 
Notre Dame of Maryland University
4701 N Charles Street 
Theresa Hall 013 
Baltimore, MD 21210 


Prayer Vigil

Volunteer Opportunities

Donations needed

Toiletries, toilet paper, and non-perishable food for  African American mosque on W. North Ave, just down the street from where violence erupted on Monday night.  Drop off donations to the Doyle Lobby or MBK 215 by Friday!!

United Way of Central Maryland



8 Ways To Help:

Baltimore City Department of Public Works:

  • Dial their 311 hotline for information on how/where to volunteer.

Baltimore Community Foundation's Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore:

  • Contributions will be used to repair the physical and emotional damage that has been done and strengthen our community for the future.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake:

  • Become a Big Brother or Sister for a child, and/or donate to the foundation.

Inner Harbor Project:

  • A youth leadership program that deploys 25 "peace ambassadors" who man the Inner Harbor on summer weekend nights to spread positivity to other teens. Make a donation and/or sponsor a "peace ambassador."

Maryland Food Bank:

  • All funds donated this week will support emergency food assistance in Baltimore City.

Maryland Unites:

  • Resources for those in need and to help aid in the recovery efforts.

The Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods:

  • A public Google doc with information regarding volunteer opportunities and volunteer requests.

The Salvation Army of Central Maryland:

  • Donations serve those in need in the Baltimore area.


Saturday, May 2

Message from President Yam: A Passion for Peace and Justice

Dear Notre Dame community,

One of the things that distinguishes Notre Dame students is their passion. They have a passion for their school. They have a passion for service and social responsibility.  And they have a passion for justice.

I was proud to see that passion displayed on Friday afternoon as students, along with faculty and staff, stood along North Charles Street in a peaceful demonstration to show how deeply they care for justice and peace in our city.

In the past few days, I have been heartened to see so many from NDMU take the initiative to unite our community and provide opportunities for dialogue and sharing. Notre Dame is known for being supportive —a place where we respect and learn from the beliefs and opinions of others. The events of the past few days demonstrate our mission: to challenge women and men to build inclusive communities and promote social responsibility.

As you take time this weekend to pause and reflect on the events of recent days and weeks, I ask you to join me in prayers for Freddie Gray and his grieving family, and for the peace and welfare of this city we love.

In peace,

Marylou Yam, Ph.D.

Friday, May 1

Dear Campus Community,

With the posting this morning of criminal charges in the death of police-detainee Freddie Gray and the series of demonstrations planned across Baltimore for today and tomorrow, including a peaceful demonstration on Charles Street this afternoon by our own students, I call together the entire Notre Dame of Maryland University community to continue to pray for peace, to work for justice, and to embrace the words of our foundress to “trust and dare” in God’s plan for all people. Many in our NDMU community – and in this city we share – are suffering.

Throughout its long history, NDMU has been faithfully invested in social responsibility and justice, most especially for its people and the city around us. We must continue this work, and expand upon it. Today and in the immediate days ahead, we must draw more deeply than ever upon our belief in the power of transformation to open our minds and hearts to create change. Our community has come together in discussions, activities, and in planning for events where we listen, talk and learn. Whatever your faith tradition, I encourage you to join our prayer vigil on Monday, May 4th at 4 pm at the Peace Pole in front of Doyle Hall and to participate in a community roundtable discussion on Tuesday, May 5th(time and location forthcoming).

Our foundress, Mother Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, also said, “Where there is peace, there is God; where God, there is every good.” By our prayers and through our actions, each of us as individuals can contribute to the collective healing of our city. 

In peace,

Marylou Yam, Ph.D.

Updates for Friday

    • All Notre Dame of Maryland University offices and classes are open today and operating on a normal schedule. All evening classes will end by 8 p.m. for the duration of the curfew.
    • There is a demonstration scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Charles Street entrance of the University.
    • The curfew will remain in effect from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. through the weekend. Here are some things to keep in mind:
      • The curfew is city-wide
      • There are exceptions for travel to and from work, to and from classes/exams, and travel related to emergencies
      • It does not interfere with normal campus events and services
      • It does not prevent students from walking on campus.
      • The city recommends everyone carry a valid photo ID at all times
      • A comprehensive explanation of the curfew is available at baltimorecity.gov.

Here are some scheduled demonstrations for Friday and this weekend:

Friday, May 1
5 p.m., large demonstration at McKeldin Square (between Harbor Place plazas)
7:30 p.m., demonstration at Park Heights Ave. and Cold Spring Lane

Saturday, May 2
Noon-6 p.m., large rally at City Hall followed by march through downtown Baltimore
1 p.m., demonstration at 3400 N. Charles St.

Sunday, May 3
3 p.m., rally at City Hall

From the Office of Human Resources: Services for faculty and staff from Cigna Healthcare

Dear Campus Community,

In light of the recent events in the city and during any times of uncertainty and change, it is especially important to focus on taking good care of ourselves.  Cigna Healthcare has reached out to Notre Dame to provide some free resources for all faculty and staff:

  • Cigna’s Behavioral Health’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) team is providing free telephonic consultations with licensed clinicians, for two weeks, for anyone trying to cope with the Baltimore Riots. Licensed clinicians are available by phone at 866-912-1687, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Information on Coping with Violence in the Community (attached) offers information on coping with fear and information regarding how to address concerns of violence with children. 
  • Disaster-related educational tools as well as links to resources for both managers and individuals can be viewed at the Disaster Resource Center at www.cignabehavioral.com (no login required).

In addition, Notre Dame’s employees and their family members have 24/7 access to Unum’s EAP program. To access by phone 800-541-1446 or website www.lifebalance.net  (Use  lifebalance for password & user ID)

Our strength is in our community, please stay safe.

Thursday, April 30

A Message from President Yam: Hopes and Prayers for Baltimore

Dear Students, Faculty Members and Staff Members,

For 120 years, Notre Dame of Maryland University has been in and of Baltimore. Many of our students, faculty and staff were born and raised here. A number of our students are engaged in community service and service learning with schools, community organizations and nonprofits in the city. The events of the past week call upon us to recognize the gravity of our challenges as an urban community, as well as the strength of our common determination and optimism for the city we love. We must recognize that many in this city are feeling pain. And our deepest condolences go out to the Gray family.

There are profound social issues around the events of the week that we must attempt to understand.  In response to the turmoil and its contexts, members of our University have responded in different ways. Some students have participated peacefully in demonstrations. Students and staff have expressed themselves by painting banners proclaiming peace. Formal and informal conversations with students and faculty have taken place all week in the residence halls and classrooms. There are several more student-focused events planned over the next few days to speak to the issues at hand and to raise funds and awareness.

In my short time here, I have come to appreciate what a beautiful and wonderful city Baltimore is, with a rich history and great cultural traditions. The spasm of violence on Monday will not make Baltimore any less remarkable a city. Monday is not what will define us. Rather, how we respond to what has happened will define us. The expressions of civic pride, the willingness to volunteer to help others and the spirit of hope that characterized much of what happened city-wide on Tuesday and in the days that followed: these things can define Baltimore.

The mission of Notre Dame of Maryland University calls for building inclusive communities and promoting social responsibility. We act on our mission in a manner that is peaceful, respectful and just. This is a good time to reflect on what our mission means to each of us.

Marylou Yam, Ph.D.

Listen...Talk...Learn: A Discussion on Race

Over 75 NDMU community members came together today to discuss the recent events in Baltimore and the various ways they have been impacted by them. Openly discussed were the challenges that students face on campus and in the greater Baltimore community; personal accounts of racism and racial division reduced many participants to tears. After nearly an hour and a half of discussion, we spoke positively about next steps and closed out the conversation in prayer.