Harry "Spike" Moss is a founder of United for Peace, an organization that includes representatives of several major Twin Cities gangs working to create employment opportunities and keep the peace in inner-city Minneapolis. He also served as director of The City Inc.'s At-Risk Youth Services when this interview appeared. Jim Wallis spoke with him at the Gang Summit.
- The Editors
Jim Wallis: What is the heart of the significance of this summit?
Spike Moss: The heart of what happened here is that these brothers know why they must have peace. They know they must save lives. They know now they're in control of their own destinies. They understand their power, they understand they have respect and clout--that the word gang doesn't scare everybody. I think we've built bridges they will never forget.
This summit came together because we've reached a level of such great devastation that anybody who is ready can seize the moment. You start running into families that have gone three to five generations raised on welfare, living in public housing, or with no member ever having a job. Three generations of their family have died and left them nothing because they had nothing. They go to prison to visit their son, and they see their brother's son, their cousins, their uncles that are never coming home. The situation is clear.
The hardest thing now is to go into the streets with a thorough campaign to hook everyone to United for Peace so the bloodshed comes to a sudden halt forever. We cannot bring economic relief as fast as we can work on peace.