DC Program Takes Novel Approach to Youth Violence


Teenagers began arriving as word spread that the Market Lounge in Washinton, D.C., was playing go-go. At the door, they waved their ID cards, and soon they were in the middle of a throbbing dance floor, 100 teenagers dancing elbow to elbow, holding up T-shirts honoring their dead homies and flashing neighborhood signs with their fingers: Lench Mob (Woodland Terrace), Choppa City (Anacostia), Simple City (Benning Terrace). That’s about the time at many go-gos that fights break out and someone winds up shot or dead, reports the Washinton Post.

But here, the two police officers assigned to the event didn’t budge, pretty certain there’d be no trouble. These teens and preteens trained to come to this club. They sat through two documentaries. They endured tough-love lectures. They made a pledge: We will not come to go-gos to settle scores. We will abide by the rules and be respectful. Finally, they were issued special ID cards that would get them into a series of “peace-gos.” Saturday’s was the first. This is an effort to end youth violence, too — a novel experiment by Market Lounge and a community coalition.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/15/AR2006101501115.html

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