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Baltimore’s Bloods, Crips, BGF Gangs Explain Their Truce Throughout Freddie Gray Protests

Those involved in the partnership say they’re not out to get cops.

Bloods, Crips, and members of the Nation of Islam. Image via Facebook, photo by Farajii Muhammad

In the midst of the protests for Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the city’s major gangs—namely the Crips, Bloods, and BGF—reportedly called a truce with the intent of protecting the community and standing together non-violently against police brutality.

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Thanks to Hollywood and Invisible Children’s viral KONY2012 campaign, most Americans associate child soldiers with African dictatorships or Middle Eastern terrorists. But the reality is the problem is much closer to home. Head to Mexico and you’ll soon discover that over 30,000 of that nation’s youth have been coerced into working as child soldiers for the various drug cartels.

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Change Only Happens When We Come Together

A visit to the Museum of Tolerance and to 3 World's Cafe taught us that change only happens when we come together.

Growing up in a low-income community, it's easy to see first-hand what the effects of prejudice really look like. We have neighborhoods and schools that are still segregated, gang violence, and we live in food deserts. It feels like no one cares about our suffering and that people who have more are fine with our communities being this way. And when you turn on the news, you only hear that we are lazy, violent, and uneducated. They say we're a menace to society. This week, spending time at the Museum of Tolerance on Los Angeles' Westside and at 3 Worlds Cafe in South Los Angeles made us reflect on how the kind of hatred that created the Holocaust affects our community today.

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Young Professionals Head to Spin Class to Support Afterschool Program

The nation's oldest after school program, LA's BEST, is giving folks a workout—and letting them make a difference in the lives of kids.


Ready to sweat in spin class and do some good for the kids? One hundred young Los Angeles professionals are heading to Sports Club/LA today to participate in the second annual indoor cycling fundraiser for the nation's oldest after-school enrichment program, LA's BEST. The cyclists hope to raise $50,000, money that will help provide safe, supervised after-school education to low-income students across Los Angeles.

The program serves 28,000 kids at 180 elementary school sites across Los Angeles, working specifically in "neighborhoods most vulnerable to gangs, drugs, crime and at schools with the lowest student test scores." Stefanie Schwartz, Nickelodeon's vice president of marketing and production, said participating in the fundraiser is important to her because for so many low-income students LA's BEST "is their only exposure to amazing enrichment activities." David Freedman, the vice-chair of the BEST friends board echoes Schwartz sentiments, adding that his fund raising efforts allowed him to get his friends and coworkers involved in the program. "I think they’re great for showing up for the kids with their financial support," he said.

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