I am seeking $10,000 in matching funds to empower youth as agents of social change in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD.
These funds would be used (1) for the completion of a summer camp to teach high-school students how to use qualitative research as a tool for social change (2) and the development of a plan to ameliorate tensions between police, city officials, and local youth about rising crime in the area.
I will work with approximately ten Baltimore youth for the months of July and August to examine this tension over public space using Participatory Action Research. During these 8 weeks, students will learn about the history of the Inner Harbor and other public tourist spaces through a sociological lens, think analytically about the competition for public space through presentations by guest speakers and creative exercises, and engage their communities through community organizing. After this introductory phase, lasting approximately 2 weeks, I will guide youth in qualitative ethnographic research to tell the story of the Inner Harbor. Each student will design a research questions, conduct 3-4 interviews, organize field notes, and code data. I have already recruited over 150 students, which I will interview to narrow down the participants. We are collaborating with an organization called the Village Learning Place (VLP). The VLP’s goal is to provide a space for community learning and growth. They have agreed to provide computers and a classroom, which will be our headquarters for the span of the project. In return, my students will mentor younger students (age 11-14 approx.) enrolled in extracurricular programs at the VLP.
A donation of $40 buys a student a recording device to caputre interviews.
A donation of $80 buys our public event permit.
A donation of $100 pays for food at one of our weekly debriefing meetings in the Inner Harbor.
A donation of $128 pays for a student's transportation for the summer.
A donation of $166 buys all school supplies, including colored pens for coding data and notebooks for field notes.
A donation of $500 funds each student's individual project so that they have the tools they need to showcase the results of their research in the manner they wish.
A donation of $1000 pays the fee for a videographer to record the progress of our project and make a short documentary.
If we reach our tipping point goal of $2500, we will be able to organize an event for the public, showcasing the results of students' research. $80 will be used to purchase an event permit and $2,420 to fund individual student projects. This is the first major step towards starting discourse about youth's role in the Inner Harbor and creating a more egalitarian, safe space. If we reach our total fundraising goal of $10,000, we will have money for expenses including transportation, research tools like recording devices and cameras, food expenses, and additional funds for guest speakers. I have already received a $10,000 grant, which will be used primarily for students' stipends. Compensation for students is a priority because they will be working on the project instead of a summer job. For a more detailed budget, click here.