D.C. Group Releases How-To Manual For Truce Between Rival Gangs
November 16, 2009
By Mana Rabiee
A group in D.C. that's helped young people leave the world of inner-city violence has published a manual with the A-B-C's of how to negotiate a truce between rival gangs.
For 20 years, the Alliance of Concerned Men has helped young people in the DC area pull themselves out of local gangs.
Tyrone Parker founded the Alliance, based in the Columbia heights neighborhood of Northwest D.C.
"It started 15 years ago when we first began to understand we were putting together a road map, a road map for peace," says Parker.
The new guide offers common sense recommendations like brining a mediator to the truce who doesn't carry 'bad blood' for either side.
Nineteen year-old Ivan Cloyd used to hang out in gangs but now mentors younger kids for the Alliance.
"The low point for me was to see a lot of my friends get killed and realizing that I'm a part of something that was destroying my community," Cloyd says.
Parker says a truce is usually formalized with hand shakes among the gang leaders who are then encouraged to spread the peace to other members.
"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.
A predominantly African American community in rural Prince George's County recently filed a federal civil rights complaint in response to plans to build a third power plant in one town, and fifth in the region.
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