In the 9th installment of Fallston Group’s 15-Minute Leadership Quick Hit, we are joined by Celia Neustadt, Executive Director of The Inner Harbor Project, a Baltimore-based youth-led effort to improve community relations and determine solutions to social issues that divide our society.
Like many of The Inner Harbor Project’s youth leaders, Celia attended Baltimore City College high school. Growing up in Baltimore City, she was exposed to urban disparities at a young age. Celia attended Pomona College in Southern California and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a focus on community-led research and public spaces. She assisted on community-led research projects in Ontario, Canada and served as a research assistant at The Johns Hopkins University, where she contributed to public health research which has been used to advocate for more comprehensive health services for poorer Baltimoreans.
Celia launched The Inner Harbor Project after winning a grant from the Napier Foundation in 2012. Since its launch, The Inner Harbor Project has employed 40 teenagers who have conducted more than 50 focus groups with stakeholders in the Inner. In 2014, IHP announced five initiatives based on its research and began its formal partnerships with the Baltimore Police Department, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Motivated by a lifelong love of Baltimore City and a belief in the power of youth to change their own circumstances, Celia considers herself the facilitator of this project, bridging the gap between disenfranchised young people and the urban powers-that-be to build a more peaceful, inclusive city.
About The Inner Harbor Project
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.