ABC’s of Education: Gangs for Peace Initiative
Columbia, SC (WOLO) — As we celebrate the fourth of July holiday and the freedom it represents…there is one group of young men who are taking that message to the street. In tonight’s ABC’s of Education several former gang members are making sure children who are out of class for the summer – can learn a possible life saving lesson in staying out of trouble.
” For us to actually be doing something like this is monumental for the street level because it’s actual people who come from that same story.”
But this group made up of various gangs including of former Bloods and Crips members turned activists are trying to rewrite that narrative. All of the men, now being an example to a younger generation that there is a different path they can choose. ” This is our chance to breathe life into the community and kill the unnecessary violence so we can be a community here.”
giving new meaning to the old adage it takes a village. community groups and churches here in the midlands have joined the gangs for peace initiative in hopes of keeping young men busy while school is out of session. with few activities, and parents who can’t take a summer break from work, activists like Levar Baker say this is a time when an idol child can fall prey to the wrong groups and company.
” We have to keep the kids active all summer. There is a lot of trouble they can get into :09 right now with everybody being out in the summer during the hot months there’s a lot of trouble to get into with everybody out of school.”
And it appears to be working, since the group of men now serving as community ambassadors kicked off their first event last month…they tell us there have been no violent crimes in their neighborhoods. But they are only getting started. this month they plan to hold a midnight hoops basketball event every Friday and Saturday to keep local youth engaged and more interested in games than gangs.