Teen Mediators monitor social media to identify conflicts that may escalate into an altercation in the Inner Harbor or downtown. Once they notice an issue online, they reach out to those involved and attempt to mediate the issue so that the conflict will not play out physically.
Teen Mediators also mediate conflicts in person when teens are referred to the Inner Harbor Project by Baltimore City Police. As an incentive for participation, teens are eligible for the Harbor Card once the mediation is deemed successful.
Why We Made It:
The summer of 2012 was a period of frequent tension and conflict in the Inner Harbor. Youth Leaders from the Inner Harbor Project conducted research into the source of this conflict, and they discovered that in addition to tension between teens and police and between teens and store owners, there was also tension between different groups of teens. Students in Baltimore City are able to choose any city high school to attend, and as a result, they often live in different neighborhoods from their friends. The Inner Harbor is a convenient gathering place for teens to meet up and hang out with friends. With large groups of teens coming to the Inner Harbor from all over the city, disagreements sometimes arise and play out in the Inner Harbor. Teen Mediation is an initiative to address this.
Teen Mediators do work that no adult or outsider could do. Their success depends on their large social circles, their social media literacy, and their skills at de-escalating situations.