Downtown Partnership and Waterfront Partnership Launch Peace Ambassador Program for Teenagers

| November 8, 2017 | 0 Comments

Press Release from Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and Downtown Partnership of Baltimore:

Two local nonprofits, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore and Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, have teamed up to support a Peace Ambassador program at the Inner Harbor and in Charles Center, two neighborhoods that draw large numbers of students throughout the year.

The program is an extension of the successful Inner Harbor Project, which disbanded this summer. The Peace Ambassadors are a networked group of teenagers and social influencers who are trained to identify and mitigate issues with their peers that may lead to conflict. The two organizations began hiring and managing 9 Peace Ambassadors at the end of August.

“Waterfront Partnership puts safety as our top priority, working hard to ensure that Inner Harbor visitors of all ages have a great experience, and leave having planned a return visit,” said Laurie Schwartz, president of Waterfront Partnership. “The Peace Ambassador program is one step to ensuring a safe environment for all who live, work and visit.”

“Students have always been welcome in Downtown, adding to the vibrancy of the City core.  However, occasionally some teens have disruptive intentions. Our Peace Ambassadors will help to identify and stop conflict between teenagers, creating an atmosphere where everyone feels safe and welcome – students, residents, businesses, and visitors alike,” said Downtown Partnership of Baltimore President Kirby Fowler.

The Peace Ambassadors monitor social media to identify conflicts that often start at a school or neighborhood in another part of town but may escalate into an altercation when groups of teenagers meet up at the Inner Harbor or utilize transit to- and from- school. In addition to conflict resolution, the Peace Ambassadors work to create more productive relationships between teenagers, the Baltimore City Police Department and area businesses. As mediators, the Peace Ambassadors have a degree of insight and peer respect that no adult ever could.

Since the Waterfront Partnership and Downtown Partnership began collaborating on the program at the end of August, the Peace Ambassadors have conducted hundreds of business check-ins and average between 25 and 40 youth contacts per day.

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