Neighborhoods Affected By Gang Violence Have Solutions To End It

Red and blue bandannas
Abeni Jones
January 20, 2020

For the last few decades, Black communities across the country have been ravaged by gang violence. 

Young Black people join gangs for varied and complex reasons - primarily as a response to poverty and police brutality. Regardless, gang violence has killed countless Black people.

Police departments have spent millions trying to address gangs, but their methods usually make the problems worse. Injunctions wrap up innocent people. “Stop and frisk” just makes us feel MORE targeted.

That’s why Original Gangsters United (OGU) in Dallas, and United Playaz in San Francisco, are so important. Both are run by former Bloods and Crips, with the idea that “it takes the hood to save the hood.”

Police can’t be the solution. Only people who truly understand gang dynamics can end gang violence.

OGU and United Playaz work with youth in gang-affected neighborhoods to help them plan for and manifest lives outside of gang membership. They also empower them to then go out and reach other youth.

“There are 92 OGU Grads who are reaching the young people,” says Lucky Antong of OGU. Their impact continues to grow, especially with Black girls, who anti-gang law enforcement efforts tend to ignore.

We have the answers to problems in our own communities, not cops! These organizations’ approach shows the power of investing in our own solutions and empowering our own people.

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