Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

Antong Lucky and Def D had nearly identical childhoods: both were raised in underprivileged neighborhoods in Dallas, both experienced gang violence at an early age, and both had family members who were in gangs. There was, however, one notable difference: they were raised one mile apart, in different neighborhoods.

This mile meant the difference between friend and foe: Antong was in the Bloods’ territory, and Def D was in the Crips’. During the 1990s, both men rose through the ranks in their respective gangs. Both lost friends to the gang wars. Both were sentenced to prison. And, in prison, both came to recognize the devastation that gang violence was wreaking on young people and their families.

After both men were released from prison, the former enemies met together to create OGU (Original Gangsters United), an organization that tries to help young people in Dallas from falling into the same cycle of gang violence that Antong and Def D experienced growing up. OGU, which now has more mentors than the original duo, spend their days hanging out with Dallas youth, looking for kids at risk of gang violence — or, rather, those most in need of a positive relationship in their lives.

Just this year, OGU mentors have reached 470 youth. There are many organizations that try to help at-risk teenagers escape gang violence, but what makes OGU so unique is the relationship that Antong and Def D share. They’re a real-life example of how two people from different neighborhoods can forge a meaningful relationship and use their common experiences to do good for others.

This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Domino effect: pizza place splurges on electric delivery fleet

Domino's Pizza is investing in a fleet of 800 electric Chevrolet Bolts painted in Domino's livery to supplement its understaffed driving crew. As the ...

Read More

Germany is turning 62 Cold War military bases into sanctuaries for wildlife

Wildlife in Germany will get a quarter more land to roam over, as the country’s government has decided to turn 62 unused military bases ...

Read More

The case for shifting to a four-day workweek for post-pandemic life

At The Optimist Daily, we’re putting a lot of focus on what the world can do after the pandemic to create a healthier, more ...

Read More

Try these yoga poses for deeper sleep

Yoga is a practice meant to boost mindfulness and physical wellness, so it’s no surprise that it can also improve sleep. If you’re one ...

Read More