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Constellations 28-29 September 2022

With support from Ethypharm


An Online Festival On Drugs & Harm Reduction
Sep 22
Science, Justice & Pleasure
With support from Ethypharm


What is Constellations 2022?


Click here to see the programme and session videos from Constellations 2021



Join Kurt Schmoke, President of the University of Baltimore and former Mayor of Baltimore (1987-99) and David Simon, creator and producer of celebrated HBO series ‘The Wire’, in a discussion on their experiences of the War on Drugs, policing, drug policy and politics.

Kurt L. Schmoke was appointed the eighth president of the University of Baltimore in July, 2014.  Mr. Schmoke earned his undergraduate degree in history from Yale University.  While at Yale he co-founded a child care center that has been in continuous operation as the Calvin Hill Day Care Center and Kindergarten since 1970.  He pursued graduate studies on a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.  Mr. Schmoke served as the mayor of Baltimore City for 12 years from 1987 to 1999, and was the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City from 1982 to 1987.

During his tenure as mayor, Mr. Schmoke initiated a number of programs in the areas of housing, education, public health and economic development. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush awarded him the National Literacy Award for his efforts to promote adult literacy, and in 1994 President Bill Clinton praised his programs to improve public housing and enhance community economic development. The Clinton Administration named Baltimore one of six cities to receive Empowerment Zone designation in 1994.

Mr. Schmoke’s other public service includes his appointment as Assistant Director, White House Domestic Policy Staff under President Jimmy Carter, and service as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland.

After completing three terms as Mayor of Baltimore, Mr. Schmoke returned to the practice of law.  He was a partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler and Pickering.  He became actively involved in the American Bar Association and the National Bar Association, serving a term as Chair of the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice of the ABA.  He has provided countless hours of pro bono legal services to charitable organizations, such as the Children’s Health Forum, a non-profit group established to combat lead poisoning among our nation’s youth.  Mr. Schmoke was appointed Dean of Howard University School of Law in January, 2003 and served in that capacity until July, 2012, at which time, he was appointed General Counsel for the university.  During his tenure as Dean of Howard Law School, Mr. Schmoke focused much of his attention on increasing bar passage rates, and expanding the clinical law program to emphasize matters of environmental justice, fair housing and civil rights. Mr. Schmoke also served Howard in the role of Interim Provost from fall 2013 until June 2014.

Mr. Schmoke is a member of several boards and associations, including the Hippodrome Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Baltimore Community Foundation, and the Baltimore City Community College.

Mr. Schmoke is married to Dr. Patricia L. Schmoke, an ophthalmologist.  They have two adult children, Gregory and Katherine.

David Simon is a Baltimore-based journalist, author, and television producer. He created and produced the celebrated HBO series The Wire, which depicts an American city's political and socioeconomic fissures.

A former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Simon is the author of two books of narrative non-fiction.  His first book, Homicide, was the basis for the NBC drama of that name, and his second, The Corner, became an Emmy-winning HBO miniseries. Subsequent television credits include Generation Kill, Treme, Show Me A Hero, The Deuce, and The Plot Against America. His most recent project, We Own This City, is a six-hour, limited series chronicling the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. It examines the corruption and moral collapse that befell an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest were championed at the expense of actual police work.

Simon is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.

Photo Credit: Krestine Havemann


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