NC Antigang Motto: “Nothing Stops A Bullet Like A Job”


North Carolina youth told community leaders last weekend why they joined gangs and how to prevent more young people from joining, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. “Don’t nobody really wanna be on the corner selling drugs all day,” said James Hartsfield, a gang member. “Kids look at the Bloods and the Crips and think, ‘This is my way out.’ But you end up dead or in jail, or someplace that’s not good.”

Seven former and current Raleigh gang members took part in a gang awareness town hall meeting as part of a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday was observed yesterday. We are not listening to these babies,” said Dawn Blagrove, a lawyer with N.C. Prisoner Legal Services. “We are coming here with our own preconceived stereotypes about what a gang is. If we are going to come up with real solutions, we need to listen to them so that we can find out what the real problem is.” The youngsters who spoke are working as advisers with Project Ricochet, a new community-based organization that has formed a “boots on the ground” brigade of ex-gang members, ex-offenders, and community activists to help young people who may be on the verge of joining a gang. At the heart of the new initiative are youth-driven entrepreneurial projects and job placement. Project Ricochet’s mantra: “Nothing Stops A Bullet Like A Job.”

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