By his own admission, Darren "Bo" Taylor had once been a detrimental force in the streets of Los Angeles. After leaving the military, he couldn't find work in his community and fell into a spiral of crime and gang violence. But when he escaped multiple attempts on his life, he decided instead to become part of the solution.
He saw his opportunity to make a difference in the aftermath of the riots. While many Angelenos feared that the already deadly war between the Crips and Bloods would escalate further, Taylor used his street connections to broker a truce between the gangs.
"People believed that the Bloods and the Crips couldn't come together," Taylor says. "But from 1992, relationships from Watts to the West Side really started to improve."
Although gang violence has not ceased in Los Angeles, UNITY One, the organization that resulted from the truce, still works in the community on intervention and prevention. The group works with the city and state government, as well as with other non-profits and law enforcement to avert gang activity.
Today, Taylor hosts a grassroots radio show on L.A.'s KRBV-FM (V100), where he talks about community issues and offers advice to those trying to turn their lives around the way he did. "The only way things will change is for the ones in the community to get involved," he said. "We've never stopped. We've kept on going."
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