NewsPaul Young Pushes Seven-Day Ceasefire With Gang Leaders

Paul Young Pushes Seven-Day Ceasefire With Gang Leaders

A brave move from a brave leader…..

Memphis Mayor Paul Young continues to focus on public safety by meeting with top gang leaders to stop the violence. 

“My ask for them in that conversation was, ‘Can we get a seven-day ceasefire? Just seven days where there’s no shooting, no killing?’” the mayor asked.

“And they said, ‘Yeah, we would be willing to do that,’ and they gave me a couple of caveats.”

Young provided the context of the meeting during a panel discussion on Mar. 4 at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis regarding youth workforce development. Young said all the leaders came to an agreement, but in return, they are seeking well-paying jobs and the training needed to secure them. 

Lastly, they requested assurances that their enemies also agreed to the ceasefire. 

One of the final things the gang leaders mentioned was their “young boys” needing money in their pockets. Young has, hopefully, found a peaceful way to get them what they need. Those in attendance for the discussion celebrated a major donation from JPMorgan Chase to The Collective Blueprint, a nonprofit organization helping unemployed youth find a successful career path. 

Similar to the gang leaders, Young said many of the youth come from poverty with limited resources. “They said, ‘We don’t have programs at our community centers,’” he told the crowd. “‘We don’t have things to do, so we go out and we steal cars, and we ride around with our friends.’”

This won’t be the last meeting of its kind with the gang leaders, Young said, and he hopes that more city leaders follow suit. Struck by their humility, Young said the meeting helped open his eyes to how “normal, or regular” the gang members were. Many admitted that they don’t want to be living that type of lifestyle, but have no choice.

“What they said to me was that they’ve been conditioned to this lifestyle,” Young said. “If we introduce some opportunities, we may be able to turn the tide.” 

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Source: Black Enterprise

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