*Remember when Freddie Gray, who was just 25, had been brutally killed by the police for simply possessing a switchblade? He had previously been in a coma when he had been arrested, 7 days before his death. He had even received treatment for spinal cord injuries, a damaged voice box and some fractured vertebrae.
The Civil Unrest That Followed
Naturally, Gray’s death was a catalyst that sparked protests which were exceptional and this then led to 6 officers being charged with homicide. Even though this may seem like justice, it hasn’t eased all the ‘blue-on-black’ brutality cases. The city has already paid out a whopping $5.7 million to brutality victims, false imprisonment charges and ofcourse- false arrests.
How Baltimore Youth Are Helping to Lead Towards the Change
Such brutality instances have caused teens to come up with movements such as the Inner Harbor Project. This not for profit organization had been founded in 2012 by Celia Neustadt and she was also able to secure a foundation grant for her cause.
The website of this movement describes it as a ‘teen-led movement’ and has a purpose of acting as the model for social change. It does so by identifying with teenagers who are somewhat leaders among their friends and equips them with professional skills. Due to this training, these individuals can come up with effective solutions that have divided the American society in terms of culture, class and race.
Youth Team Members Are the Center of the Organization
As mentioned before, this organization is helping to lead towards the change with the help of their design programs that organize young people. These young individuals then lead within the city and help transpire the program’s fundamental aim.
Baltimore is a city where the individuals who fall under the age of 18 constitute to 21.2% of the total population of 622,793 people. This number shows us how youth can easily become the forefront of efforts that bring about a communal transformation.
The Self-Determined Agents of Change
With the help of this movement, not only will police misconduct be handled but even miniscule everyday problems can be solved with ease. These young Black leaders are facilitating what they like to call a systematic change and the efforts of IHP’s teams are formidable.
Youth’s of color will soon enough become the self-determined agents of change!