Within months, BMI seemed to be sparking conversations everywhere. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) helped launch the project at the historic Arch Social Club on Pennsylvania Avenue, the first social club for African-Americans on the East Coast. WJZ-TV news anchor Vic Carter participated in a discussion on black male identity and mass media moderated by radio host Marc Steiner at the Baltimore Museum of Art. But it was the sheer number of participants, not their name recognition, that was phenomenal. Thousands of people, among them artists, faith leaders, academics, and entrepreneurs, came out for forums, performances, exhibitions, and art workshops at dozens of locations. Everyone had something to say. There was a barbershop conversation series and Baltimore City Public Schools consulted with project organizers about developing a BMI-inspired curriculum.