The Inner Harbor Project is a model for social change that identifies teenagers who are leaders among their peers, equips them with research and professional skills, and organizes them to come up with solutions to issues that divide our society on the basis of race, class and culture.
The Inner Harbor Project focuses on public space because it is the place where different social needs compete and where we can pioneer effective approaches to harmonious coexistence.
The Inner Harbor Project ceased operations in August 2017. Its legacy lives on through the people and organizations with which it collaborated.
- Recognize that young people are critical agents of social change. Young people are necessary for solving this issue. They are “insiders” – able to understand personally the ramifications of exclusion.
- Train young people in Participatory Action Research to identify the origin of tension and generate recommendations for improvement. Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) gives young people the tools they need to do empirical research. Because we live in the Information Age, where data is language, it allows their findings to be understood across a broad cross-section of society. Additionally, studies show that the solutions generated from YPAR are more sustainable than those deduced through conventional methods because the critical agents of change – youth– are at the helm.
- Implement the recommendations in a central public space to change the dynamics between disengaged youth and adults. Working in central public spaces elevates the solutions beyond a single community. Because people of all backgrounds intersect in public spaces, the ramifications of the solutions can be far reaching.
We hope that people everywhere will learn from the work we've done. We care about this so much that we have made all of our tools free to anyone who wants to use them.
Please read about our Open Availability License Agreement before proceeding to utilize our tools.
We've put together a questionnaire to help you determine if the necessary indicators are in place to succeed with our model. Click here to find out if your space is similar to our space.
Here's a step-by-step, bird's-eye view of how to replicate what we did. Click here to see.
All of our curriculums can be downloaded and used by clicking the images below.