Author: Justin Fair

Clyburn Arboretum

Clyburn Arboretum, Park Heights, Baltimore, MD

19 new photos added to shared album

via Instagram

White on green

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A plane passes by, “Stonach keep Preakness in Baltimore.” Somebody paid money for that.

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Stained glass window. More photos at

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Stained glass window. More photos at @ Cylburn Arboretum Association

— Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019

The gray lady sits, lost in thought as she looks at her garden.

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Pattern Inspiration

Pinned: Erwin Hauer 3-D screens — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019
Pinned: Vainqueur du concours annuel Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition, LOT, studio de design et d’architecture basé à New York et en Grèce a créé cette installation publique lumineuse et ludique. Située à côté du Madison Square Park, Fla… — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019
Pinned: PolygonModelingErwinHauerV — Justin Fair (@Soulstrong) May 18, 2019

Morgan SA+P Students Win 2019 Sustainable Growth Challenge

We got a write-up in Radio Facts

Morgan from the School of Architecture and Planning recently won the 2019 Sustainable Growth Challenge case competition sponsored by the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission. The competitive group from Morgan showcased their distinct vision for urban planning and and was among four teams awarded the coveted honor for their respective plans. Along with Morgan State University, other winning institutions included teams from St. Mary’s College and the University of Maryland College Park.

Sustainable Growth Challenge

Morgan State graduate students (left to right) Justin Fair and April Smith, present their team’s award-winning “Franklin Square Neighborhood Plan” before members of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission


The winning submission from the Morgan SA+P students titled “Franklin Square Neighborhood Plan,” delivered a reimagination of one of Baltimore’s most historic communities whose nineteenth century rowhouses spans twenty-four city blocks. Given an in-depth analysis of the neighborhood’s vitality, including comprehensive assessments of its infrastructure, resources, and socio-economic indicators, the Morgan group envisioned a renewed Franklin Square Neighborhood founded on the principles of WEL: Walkable, Equitable, Livable. The plan comprised a multidisciplinary proposal that encompassed urban planning, analyzed economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable growth, and developed creative community solutions.

“We recognize the valuable active learning experience students gain when provided the opportunity to apply course material and instruction in the real-world settings that case study research presents, said Tonya Sanders-Thach, Ph.D., faculty advisor on the project and professor at Morgan’s . “Our team put forth an incredibly astute effort crafting a comprehensive, well-conceived multidisciplinary plan that showcased their design talents, as well as presenting opportunities for them to foster community engagement, promote essential soft skills development and enhance critical thinking.”

The winning SA+P team from Morgan comprised the following Master of City and Regional Planning graduate students: Christy Bernal, Justin Fair, Washina Ford, Kshitiz Gurung, Alexander Pianim, April Smith and Sha’Von Terrell.


“These students represent the next generation of innovators who will help ensure Maryland remains a national leader in sustainable economic development and environmental stewardship,” said Governor Larry Hogan of all those recognized. “I am proud of their efforts and all of the forward-thinking work being done at our state’s colleges and universities.”

Sustainable Growth Challenge

Morgan State SA+P graduate students (left to right) Justin Fair and April Smith, present their team’s award-winning “Franklin Square Neighborhood Plan” before members of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission

The is a program that engages Maryland college students in developing creative solutions to sustainability while also providing a career-building, real-world learning experience. The annual collegiate challenge is an interdisciplinary exercise promoting economic growth, environmental stewardship and sustainable land use at the community level.

“The awardees have demonstrated creativity, flexibility and passion in their projects,” said Planning Secretary Rob McCord. “We continue to foster a legacy of best practices using mentorship, collaboration and education as our foundation.”

The Sustainable Growth Challenge, and other competitions like it, affords Morgan opportunities to demonstrate its commitment to community engagement through mutually-beneficial opportunities that promote service-learning programs through student research.

Two workouts in one day

Prep for missionfit, strength work

Evening exercise

1 mile treadmill in 13 min at 5

5 sets of 15 reps seated leg press, 55,70,85,100,115

5 min exercise bicycle

Jews and the word ‘race’

Found this gem of an article, though the title misses how we use the term ‘race’ today. So many connotations. Here are some good snippets.

“Jews in particular can find threads of our ancestry literally anywhere, muddying traditional categories of nationhood, ethnicity, religious belief and “race.” Why, then, are Jews so different looking, usually sharing the characteristics of the surrounding populations? Think of red-haired Jews, Jews with blue eyes or the black Jews of Africa. Like any cluster — a genetic term Ostrer uses in place of the more inflammatory “race” — Jews throughout history moved around and fooled around, although mixing occurred comparatively infrequently until recent decades. Although there are identifiable gene variations that are common among Jews, we are not a “pure” race. The time machine of our genes may show that most Jews have a shared ancestry that traces back to ancient Palestine but, like all of humanity, Jews are mutts.”

“About 80% of Jewish males and 50% of Jewish females trace their ancestry back to the Middle East. The rest entered the “Jewish gene pool” through conversion or intermarriage. Those who did intermarry often left the faith in a generation or two, in effect pruning the Jewish genetic tree. But many converts became interwoven into the Jewish genealogical line. Reflect on the iconic convert, the biblical Ruth, who married Boaz and became the great-grandmother of King David. She began as an outsider, but you don’t get much more Jewish than the bloodline of King David!”

DNA links prove Jews are a ‘race,’ says genetics expert

In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature.

Justin Fair on Twitter

An in depth article! I’d 2nd that we’re not a Race in the modern use of the word re: census & visual commonality @KosherSoul “Jews in prtculr can find threads of our ancestry literally anywhr, muddying tradtnl categories of nationhd, ethnicity, religious belief & “race.””

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Should Be Illegal – The Atlantic

“We need a national truce, both within states and between states,” said Amy Liu, the director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. “There should be no more poaching of private companies with public funds.” But how would the United States ban states and local governments from poaching jobs from one another, or from giving tax dollars to private corporations?

Amazon’s HQ2 Spectacle Isn’t Just Shameful-It Should Be Illegal

Was this national auction nothing more than a scripted drama to raise the value of the inevitable winning bid? And did the retailer miss an opportunity to revitalize a midwestern city by choosing to enrich the already-rich East Coast? All good questions. But here’s the big one: Why the hell are U.S.

Searching for Opportunities in Urban Planning and in Community Development

I wear many hats…

As such, I am eager to get better involved by volunteering, giving, and familiarizing myself with community development organizations and urban planning firms within the City of Baltimore. I’m open to projects like:

  • Community Profiling and Scoping Neighborhood Plans
  • Framing branding statements, promotional text and fliers
  • Database development to help list local resources
  • Research and write historical narratives
  • Site visit and tour neighborhoods
  • Sit on committees and offer insights

I am also on-the-job-hunt! Please contact me if you know of an opportunity that may interest me.

Civic Engagements

I am active in my community on three fronts: volunteering, financial donations, and employed engagement.

As a nutty list-maker, I’ve written-out my leadership positions followed by yearly or monthly giving to local non-profit organizations.

For an additional list of companies, influencers and associations that grab my attention, browse my Twitter Lists.