The Stories Campaign begins with the story of three women from Portland, Oregon who were in rival gangs, before they turned their lives around. I had the honor of meeting Nicky Taylor, Dee Dee Wallace and Lunita Renfrow and hearing their stories first hand. Here is their story.
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Gangsters sell drugs, carry guns and shoot at each other for wearing a certain color. But underneath the violence and criminal activity are human beings, just like you and me.
If we want to prevent young people from turning to street gangs we need to listen to the stories of former members of gangs. These stories can teach us many things.
The three women in this week’s video entered gang life through different doors. They wore different colors, representing the Bloods and the Crips. Their stories could have ended in jail or could have been cut short with a bullet ending their life. Instead these strong, determined women have joined together to form an organization to prevent young people from turning to the streets.
Listen as they tell us their stories. Share their story with others who work to end gang violence. If you are in a gang, use their stories to give you the courage to turn your life around. If you are a young person and gang life seems exciting, think about the words of these women who completely understand why it seems exciting…and why you deserve more. As Nicky says at the end…Respect yourself!