Street Soldiers National Consortium The Alive and Free Movement Begins--Stop the Violence Conference

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Conference in historic Birmingham, Alabama, Nov 9-10. Special guests Danny Glover and Rep. Maxine Waters Conference will will focus on recruiting, teaching, training, and recruiting street soldiers-individuals committed to eliminating violence in their own lives and in their communities.

In an effort to stop the violence that is plaguing so many communities throughout the nation and to keep young people alive and free, the Street Soldiers National Consortium based in San Francisco is sponsoring its first national conference on November 9-10 2006 in Birmingham, AL. Entitled "The Alive and Free Movement Begins--Stop the Violence," the conference officially launches the Alive and Free Movement and will focus on recruiting, teaching, training, and recruiting street soldiers-individuals committed to eliminating violence in their own lives and in their communities.

“I chose Birmingham, AL as the place for the conference and the place to launch the Alive and Free Movement because of Birmingham’s historical significance. It was in Birmingham a half century ago that Dr. King and his followers took on the massive problem of racism and discrimination; developed a strategy and tackled the problem risking their own personal safety. Said Dr. Joseph Marshall, President of the

Street Solders National Consortium and Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers.

“In the process, Dr. King stirred the conscience of a nation and galvanized support on his behalf. Ultimately, he prevailed and conditions that had been in placed for decades changed. Birmingham, AL is not the only city where this happened, but it is perhaps the most well known. It is symbolic of taking a stand, confronting massive issues, and ultimately prevailing against all odds.” Marshall added.

Today almost 50 years later, the country faces a massive problem—the problem of urban violence, threatening to undue all that Dr. King and those that stood with him worked so hard for. Violence rages in cities across America, even in Birmingham. One simply asks, “what good does it do to win the right to ride the bus, when all you’re going to do is get on the bus and destroy everything and everybody in it?” Lives are lost in these cities everyday and America does nothing about it. The time has come again to take a stand for life and freedom.

The Street Soldiers National Conference is open to all, those working directly with youth are especially encouraged to attend-community based organizations, school personnel, probation and parole officers, attorneys and judges, juvenile justice and law enforcement professionals, foster care providers, and social service and public agency workers among others. Ultimately, all who support a violence free community are invited.

About The Street Soldiers National Consortium

The Street Soldiers National Consortium is a group of professionals and organizations dedicated to preventing violence by using and promoting the violence prevention model developed by the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers in San Francisco, California. Founded in October 2003, the Consortium was developed at the request of street soldiers across the country who felt the need for a formal organization that would support them as they combat violence in their communities. The mission of the Consortium is to keep young people alive (unharmed by violence) and free (from incarceration) by promoting the understanding and adoption of this model. The founder and President of the Consortium is Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. Ph.D., co-founder and Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers.

About Dr. Joseph Marshall, Jr.

Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, Jr. is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers, a youth development and violence prevention organization headquartered in San Francisco, CA that emphasizes academic achievement and non-involvement with drugs. This organization, founded in February of 1987, has produced 115 college graduates, all supported by the Omega Boys Club Scholarship Fund. Another 51 Omegas are currently enrolled in college.

Dr. Marshall is the first person to classify youth violence as a disease, and his work has been recognized in the 2001 Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence. As Executive Director of the Omega Boys Club, he oversees the Omega Leadership Academy for academic and life skills education, the Omega Training Institute on violence prevention; and Street Soldiers Communications, which include a nationally syndicated radio talk show, a news magazine, and a local television program.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the MacArthur Foundation Genius Award, the Leadership Award from the Children’s Defense Fund, the Essence Award honoring outstanding contributions by African American men, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award from the National Educational Association, and the “Use Your Life Award” from Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network. He is the author of the 1996 best-selling book, Street Soldier: One Man’s Struggle to Save a Generation, One Life at a Time.

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