By: Evette Champion
Did you know that Baltimore is located in one of the richest states in the US, as reported by CNN Money in 2015? Of all the residents in the city, over 63% of them are black, but they only make half as much as the white residents.
Actor Wendell Pierce hopes to elevate the disparities that have gotten so noticeable in Baltimore. During a panel discussion at Columbia University, Pierce and former “Wire” cast mates, Sonja Sohn, Felicia Pearson and Jamie Hector plan to bring more jobs to Baltimore with an apartment complex project, with Pierce donating $20 million.
A portion of the apartments in the complex will be offered to local artists at a discounted rate. The artists who live in the building will be able to feature their artwork in the building’s galleries. Even more exciting is that Baltimore residents will be hired to work as the construction team to build the apartment building.
The developers are hoping that the project will be completed by the end of 2017, with a tentative start date of July. Pierce didn’t say who else will be investing in the project or the development company that will be used—he did say that the project was more of a private venture.
Pierce hopes that this will just be the beginning of more jobs being available in the predominately black city.
We hope to take it into the row houses, too. This is a pilot program to make sure that the template is there,” he told Fusion.
This isn’t the first time Pierce gave back to communities. In the post Hurricane Katrina documentary, “New Orleans Rising,” it chronicled his efforts as the president of a community development association that was created to help bring his home town back to its glorious state that it once was before the hurricane hit.
If there ever was a celebrity to do more for a community, it would certainly be Wendell.