Institute for Urban Research
The Institute for Urban Research (IUR) at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD was established in 1978 and mandated by the State of Maryland to identify and research urban issues in the region, and when relevant, share the information with policy makers. During its 40-year history, the IUR has conducted countless surveys on community attitudes toward state and private institutions. It focuses on survey research involving populations that are traditionally overlooked, underserved, and rarely asked questions often reserved for majority populations. Its eight member staff reflects a diversity of disciplines so that robust "snapshots of the studied communities and institutions are produced that maintain integrity and avoid biased stereotypes of Marylanders.
WHAT WE DO
Technical Assistance to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) Communities often need technical assistance in writing grants and knowledge about their own history and devising strategies for dealing with public policies that affect them directly. At the request of community-based organizations, the IUR helps in providing data, consultants and technical support that helps these organizations gain a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Workshops are held by IUR staff both at Morgan State University and inside communities that need such assistance. The Community Development Research Center and the Survey Research Center within the Institute help in doing this.
We work closely with policy makers Elected officials are in constant need of information that helps them make informed decisions about proposed policies that impact neighborhoods and regions. We locate information that gives elected officials a comprehensive understanding of the proposed policy and its potential impact on a community. Too often, ordinances, laws and policies are created in a vacuum that can lead to unanticipated outcomes that the policy makers never intended. The IUR provides reliable data that helps elected officials understand the consequences of their policies.
We provide research support to Morgan faculty and staff Interdisciplinary cooperation is a key strategy for the IUR. We see it as a critical component of doing research both inside and outside of the university. This is reflected in our staff which is comprised of sociologists, psychologists, historians, transportation engineers, anthropologists, public health and communications scholars. Connecting within the university with similar staff helps in bringing a comprehensive view of urban challenges and increases faculty and staff collegiality in solving problems.
We work closely with educational institutions Urban education has increasingly come to mean educating Black and Brown students who often experience "educational abuse" during their matriculation. Morgan State, represented by the IUR, is a member of the Baltimore Educational Research Consortium (BERC) comprised of Johns Hopkins, Morgan State and Baltimore City Public Schools. BERC collects and shares data that lead to better ways of educating students in Baltimore City and its environs. Furthermore, the staff of the Institute consults widely with educational institutions on subjects such as school discipline, parental involvement, corporal punishment, effective strategies for educating African American boys and attendance. The IUR is one of only two such institutes housed at an HBCU and is sought after by schools and universities for its expertise in understanding students and educators of color.