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Oct 17, 2014 Several weeks ago, I attended the memorial service for Eddie Ellis, who was, among many things (including a son, a father, a mentor, and a leader), a formerly incarcerated man and the founder of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. I first met Eddie in 2007, not long after he wrote his well-known “language letter.” Called “An Open Letter to...
Sep 5, 2014 At a distance of nearly a month, the shooting death of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, the deeply troubling response to it, and the ongoing commentary have a certain back-to-the-future quality, reminding us of how stuck in the past we still are, despite real progress in matters of race. Much remains to be done—and not only in Ferguson—to combat the source of distrust and enmity between police and community, particularly African American...
Jul 2, 2014 In February, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative “to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential,” and established an interagency task force to work on it. Last month, the task force released a 90-day progress report to the President including an initial...
May 5, 2014 We tell a story in this country about the normalization of violence. We look at arrest records—particularly for adolescents and young adults—and see groups of young people who commit more and more violent crimes over time. The story we tell to explain this trend is one of children being hardened into violent adult criminals. We have come to believe that each offense paves the way for the next, that the punishment for the lower level ones is an inadequate...

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