Our Work

The Challenge

In Baltimore City, where many young people struggle with poverty and its consequences, youth are often dismissed as part of the problem and rarely valued as part of the solution. CLIA believes that young people have tremendous potential when provided with the right opportunities.

Our Solution

CLIA has two objectives: to develop young people to be leaders and advocates and to advance positive community change through public policy.

Through our Leadership Development and Advocacy training programs, we teach students to apply fact-based advocacy skills to solve issues they face, we connect them with key professionals and public officials, and we provide youth with real life work experience and guidance that compliments their goals and passions.

CLIA also works to change policy. Right now, we’re training young people who have been directly impacted by the justice system as spokespeople and community organizers to change the current law allowing youth to be automatically charged as adults in Maryland.

Just Kids Campaign

A statewide advocacy campaign working to stop the automatic prosecution of youth as adults.

“It is really important for youth to step up. Decision makers need to hear everyone’s point of view. While adults might have more experience and knowledge about an issue, they might not come from where I come from or have my perspective.”

-Gerleene G., a former CLIA Law & Leadership Academy Student

Leadership Development and Advocacy

Baltimore City youth learn the skills necessary to lead effectively and advocate for positive change in their schools, neighborhoods and city.