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.
Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
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