CNN Profiles Baltimore Group Bringing Together Teens and Police

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Va theinnerharborproject.org
Via theinnerharborproject.org

The Inner Harbor Project got some more national attention for its work defusing tensions between police officers and teenagers in Baltimore.

“One of the things that I was always struck by growing up in Baltimore was the segregation of the city and the divisions,” Celia Neustadt told CNN. She said Baltimore’s “eclectic neighborhoods” make it “incredibly fun and exciting” but also “divided.”

That division inspired Neustadt to found the Inner Harbor Project, a group that “organizes [teenagers] to come up with solutions to issues that divide our society on the basis of race, class and culture.”

Since the fatal injury of Freddie Gray in police custody, the Inner Harbor Project has conducted several “youth engagement” and “cultural competency” training sessions with the Baltimore Police Department’s Inner Harbor unit, work that quickly earned the group national attention. Representatives from the IHP were interviewed by Melissa Harris-Parry on MSNBC back in May.

Neustadt called the training a “collaborative exercise between teenagers and police.” Neustadt thinks the events “have been really cathartic for police officers.”

“The officers we’re working with really want to fix this tension, just like the teenagers that we work with want to,” Neustadt said.