THE NATIONAL ACE COORDINATING CENTER Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia The National ACE News The Philadelphia Collaborative Violence Prevention Center Columbia University Newsletter for the Academic Centers of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 WINTER 2010 Harvard University Harvard Youth Violence Prevention Center Johns Hopkins University Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence Highlighting the ACEs: Nashville UPACE Meharry Medical College By Jane Onoye & Vicente Samaniego Nashville Urban Partnership Academic Center of Excellence This is the ninth in a series of outcomes are borne by low- sentatives, youth, and policymakers on Youth Violence Prevention newsletters that highlight the income and minority youth living in an integrated, inter-disciplinary University of California at Berkeley National Academic Centers of in the core urban area of Nash- approach to prevent youth vio- Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Excellence on Youth Violence ville. In 2005, all youth homicides lence; 2) develop an integrated, Violence Prevention Prevention (ACEs), funded by the in Nashville occurred within a multi-level youth violence preven- University of California at Centers for Disease Control and narrow band of geographic areas tion strategic plan that utilizes a Riverside Southern California Academic Prevention (CDC). in North and South Nashville, public health approach; 3) conduct Center of Excellence on Youth The mission of the Nashville predominantly African-American a targeted, inter-disciplinary pro- Violence Prevention Urban Partnership Academic and Latino respectively. gram of prevention research that University of Chicago Chicago Center for Youth Center of Excellence on Youth Under the direction of princi- investigates the context, causes, Violence Prevention and consequences of youth vio- Violence Prevention (NUPACE) pal investigator, Dr. Paul Juarez, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is to promote an academic- the Center comprises a multi- lence that uses community-based Asian/Pacific Islander Youth Violence Prevention Center community partnership that inte- disciplinary team from partner participatory research methods; 4) Virginia Commonwealth grates prevention science with institutions and agencies including identify, support, and evaluate University community action in order to Meharry Medical College, Van- promising interventions; 5) estab- Clark-Hill Institute for Positive Youth Development reduce violence among youth 10- derbilt University, Tennessee lish a county-wide youth violence 24 years of age in Nashville/ State University, Nashville Met- prevention surveillance system; 6) Davidson County, Tennessee. ropolitan Public Health Depart- monitor changes in violence among ment, and community-based youth 10-24 years of age; 7) facili- INSIDE While the NUPACE is con- coalitions. tate communication about youth THIS ISSUE: cerned with prevention of youth violence and prevention related violence in the entire county, it The goals of NUPACE are to: activities to local partners; and 8) Highlighting the 1 recognizes the disproportionate 1) bring together researchers, translate and disseminate results of ACEs burden of associated negative practitioners, community repre- (Continued on page 4) Director’s Update 1 Qualitative 2 Studies Surveillance Lessons Learned 3 Assistant Director’s Update By Jane Onoye Special Issue 4 Aloha and Hau‘oli Makahiki cesses from the ACEs and all of worked and Hou! Welcome to a new year in their partners. cont inue to Success Story 5 2010, which we hope will bring work so hard to With the recent economic opportunities for us to continue times, we realize that many who bring forth new knowledge to ad- Voice from the Community 6 to work together. support this effort in youth vio- vance the field and create positive As you browse through this lence prevention have faced diffi- opportunities for a brighter future In Focus 7 issue, we hope you enjoy the cult challenges with cuts in fund- for our youth. Mahalo nui loa! new look of the newsletter along ing for operations and programs. We look forward to featuring with the usual highlights of the We would like to acknowledge more updates from the ACEs great work and stories of suc- and thank all of you who have throughout the coming year! PAGE 2 Qualitative Studies Shed Light on Youth Violence Factors By Raquel Halford and Rosalie Corona The Clark-Hill Institute for ues and Goals, Beliefs about lence, Concern over Prosocial Positive Youth Development at the World, Beliefs Supporting I ma g e And Reput a t ion, Virginia Commonwealth Univer- Fighting, and Beliefs Against Friends’ Support for Fighting, sity (VCU) has been busy. Two Fighting. Peer Pressure for Fighting, recent studies published/in-press Finally, personal resources Peer Instigation, Direct Verbal have focused on qualitative stud- included skills and abilities such Victimization, Bystander Pres- ies with urban African American as Self-Efficacy for Fighting, sure To Fight, and Concern adolescents. Emotion Regulation Skills, Over “Tough” Image And The first study examined the Problem-Solving Skills, and Self Reputation. influence of individual-level fac- -Efficacy for Nonviolent Re- Family influences included tors on the responses of adoles- sponses. The identification of Parental Values Against Fight- cents to problem situations with these factors is important in ing, Parental Modeling of Pro- Raquel Halford, MA peers (Farrell, Erwin, Betten- the effort to promote nonvio- social Behavior, Parental Disci- Graduate Student court, Mays, Vulin-Reynolds, & lent responses and reduce plinary Practices, Proximal VCU Department of Sullivan, 2008). Participants were aggression. Support From Adult Authority Psychology 106 middle school (ages 11-15) Figure At Home, Parental En- The second study examined students. Participants identified the influence of environmental dorsement Of Fighting, Mixed those individual level factors that factors on the non-violent Parental Messages About Fight- would help or hinder particular versus fighting responses of ing, and Parental Modeling Of ways (e.g., fighting or non-violent adolescents to problem situa- Violence and Antisocial Behav- response) of responding to tions with peers (Farrell, Mays, ior. The identification of these T H E problem situations. Results indi- Bettencourt, Erwin, Vulin- factors is important in the N A T I O N A L cated that these factors were Reynolds, & Allison, in press). effort to promote nonviolent A C E N E W S classified into 17 themes com- responses and reduce aggres- prising appraisal of situation, Participants were 106 mid- sion. N E W S L E T T E R F O R T H E perceived consequences, beliefs dle school (ages 11-15) stu- A C A D E M I C and values, and personal re- dents. Participants identified C E N T E R S O F those environmental level E X C E L L E N C E sources. factors that would help or Farrell, A.D., Mays, S., O N Y O U T H Appraisal of situation included hinder non-violent and fighting Bettencourt, A., Erwin, E. H., V I O L E N C E P R E V E N T I O N such themes as Attributions of responses to problem situa- Vulin-Reynolds, M., & Allison, K. the Other Person, History with tions. Results indicated that W. (in press). Environmental the Person, and Perceived these factors were classified influences on fighting versus Closeness, Connection. into 24 themes comprising nonviolent behavior in peer Perceived consequences in- school, family, peer, neighbor- situations: A qualitative study cluded Fear of Physical Harm hood, and other broad social with urban African American Rosalie Corona, PhD, from Fighting, factors. adolescents. American Journal of Director of Fighting Now Community Psychology. School level factors included Communication Prevents Fu- such things as Proximal Sup- Farrell, A.D., Erwin, E. H., & Dissemination ture Fighting, port or Supervision at School Bettencourt, B., Mays, S., Vulin- Clark-Hill Other Nega- and School consequences Reynolds, M., Sullivan, T. (2008). Institute for tive Outcome while neighborhood level fac- Individual factors influencing for Fighting, tors included Exposure to effective nonviolent behavior and Positive Youth and Absence Violence/trauma, Delinquency, fighting in peer situations: A Development or Lack of Fear and Drug or Alcohol abuse, qualitative study with urban VCU Department of Conse- and Proximal Support, Supervi- African American adolescents. of Psychology quences. sion, or Monitoring. Peer influ- Journal of Clinical Child & Beliefs and ences included Friends’ Sup- Adolescent Psychology. values included port for Nonviolent Behavior, Prosocial Val- Peer Pressure for Nonvio- THE NATIONAL ACE NEWS V O L U M E 4 , I S S U E 1 PAGE 3 2010 Upcoming Events June 1 - 4—Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research DEC 2009 – MAY 2010 Denver, CO Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May July 11 - 23—Office of Behavioral 1-2 24 - 29 3 7 - 10 7-9 3-5 & Social Sciences/NIH Summer Kids Count in 24th Interna- Spotlighting 23rd Annual Blueprints for 2010 Annual Safe Institute on Design and Conduct Indiana Conference tional Confer- Positive Youth Children’s Mental Violence Preven- Schools Confer- Indianapolis, IN ence on Child Development Health Research & tion ence of Randomized Clinical Trials and Family Kickoff Event Policy Conference San Antonio, TX Harrisburg, PA Involving Behavioral Interventions Maltreatment Chevy Chase, MD Tampa, FL San Diego, CA Warrenton, VA 3-6 25 - 27 6 - 10 11 - 13 7-9 5-7 June 25 - 27—National Confer- National Federa- Child Welfare Community-Based Society for Re- Coalition for Children, Youth, & ence on Girl Bullying & Other tion of Families for League of Participatory search on Adoles- Community Families at Risk Children’s Mental America Annual Research Ap- cence Biennial Schools National Conference Forms of Relational Aggression Health 20th Conference proaches to Meeting Forum San Francisco, CA San Antonio, TX Anniversary Baltimore, MD Sustaining Healthy Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA Washington, DC Families and Multicultural Visit the Coordinating Center Communities website at www.nacecc.org for San Jose, CA links to calendar events. For a more comprehensive and updated 31 28 - 29 11 - 13 25 - 27 7 - 10 27 - 30 list of upcoming events, confer- Robert Wood Baltimore City National Confer- Teaching Preven- Cities and Association for ences, training opportunities, we Johnson RFP for School Gang ence on Education tion 2010 Women’s Health: Psychological Local Funding Symposium Phoenix, AZ Washington, DC Global Perspec- Science recommend visiting http:// Partnerships - Baltimore, MD tives Boston, MA www.jhsph.edu/ Peaceful Pathways: Philadelphia, PA preventyouthviolence and sub- reducing exposure to violence applica- scribing to the Johns Hopkins tion deadline Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence Items of Interest. Surveillance Lessons Learned: Philadelphia UPACE By Alice Hausman and Charles Branas At the Philadelphia Collabora- community members. As part of 3) The sustainability model is one tive Youth Violence Prevention the centerpiece project, the com- of ongoing partnership with com- Center (PCVPC), we have been munity indicator project has been munity engagement. As we being embarking on a novel approach to a collaborative, intensive process to find promising results of which community-based surveillance. throughout its phases of data ac- indicators may correlated to vio- The surveillance mapping is cess and matching, as well as vali- lence, they may be then consid- housed through the Penn Carto- dation. Progress on validating the ered worthwhile for wide-scale graphic Modeling Lab’s Neighbor- list of community indicators has community-based intervention hood Information System been incremental, but promising. trials. (cml.upenn.edu). The web-based Some of the important lessons Although looking outside of the interactive site allow community learned thus far from this process traditional measures for youth members, researchers, city em- include: violence surveillance could be ployees, etc. to access and view 1) Having the community advisory considered an overall challenge, trends and map crime and demo- board and individuals involved the benefits of using a novel ap- Top - Alice graphic data for Philadelphia and its through the process has been proach has been well worth the Hausman, PhD neighborhoods. key—particularly in the interpreta- effort. Meaningful indicators to Temple The innovation for the PCVPC tion and validation, across match- communities which reflect their lies in exploring the potential rela- ing with indicators to reflect their voice may be easier to understand University tionship of youth violence with voice and to be meaningful to or use, as well as influence ways of some of the less common them. looking at program outcomes. Bottom - Charles neighborhood indicators such as 2) The work entails a lot of re- These alternative perspectives can graffiti, vacant properties, litter, sources—as a very time– and la- be especially important in helping Branas, PhD murals, tree cover, resident stress, bor-intensive project, it has been to sustain community efforts as University of feelings of safety, and social capital, challenging to balance resources of they talk about successes in differ- Pennsylvania many of which were suggested by researchers and the community. ent dimensions. PAGE 4 Special Issue Highlight By Gregory Mark One of the Asian Pacific munities around the globe. a sense, the seeds of this shift Islander Youth Violence Pre- The contributors to the were planted a generation ago vention Center’s (APIYVPC) Special Issue represent the when pioneers like Dr. Paul aims is to communicate and continuum of Asian Pacific Takagi to whom the Special disseminate the results of the academicians and practitioners Issue is dedicated, and his stu- latest research about Asian with varied expertise and col- dents, began to study Asian American and Pacific Islander lectively many years of profes- American gang activity and (AAPI) youth violence and sional and personal experience crime and to develop new prevention to community, and involvement in the field. theoretical frameworks that state, national, and interna- Their ethnic-specific, culturally made sense of their research tional audiences. sensitive inquiry and research observations and findings. This This was accomplished re- of AAPI groups in a Pacific line of inquiry and research cently by the Special Issue: Diaspora context provide helped to provide the impetus “Asian American and Pacific alternative interpretations of and direction for an evolving Islander Youth Violence and AAPI youth violence and sug- field. Today, another genera- Prevention” featured as the gest innovative violence inter- tion of scholars and practitio- November/December 2009 vention and prevention strate- ners continue to rigorously issue of Aggression and Violent gies. They put forward a vari- pursue study and research of Behavior. ety of perspectives in theory, youth violence among more methodology, and practice that recent immigrant groups such This collection of current as AAPIs. research on AAPI youth vio- both adds to and challenges T H E lence and prevention ad- the existing body of knowledge The Special Issue assembles N A T I O N A L dresses some of the gaps in and state of the field. some of the latest and most A C E N E W S our understanding of this This is an exciting time useful research on AAPI youth N E W S L E T T E R emerging area of study as well when traditional and estab- violence and prevention to be F O R T H E as its neglect in the academic lished ways of knowing, study- a valuable resource not only A C A D E M I C for students, academicians, and C E N T E R S O F literature. The articles expose ing, and explaining youth vio- the complex, diverse, and wide lence and prevention are en- practitioners dedicated to the E X C E L L E N C E O N Y O U T H ranging issues and concerns hanced and in some cases sup- field of study but also to mem- V I O L E N C E that require examination, dia- planted by alternative and bers and residents of AAPI P R E V E N T I O N communities whose endeavors log, and action to prevent complementary concepts, youth violence in AAPI com- theories and methodologies. In collectively help to prevent youth violence. Nashville UPACE continued from page 1 youth violence prevention and Dissemination, which are in organizational networks and Paul Juarez, PhD research and program- guided by a Steering Commit- evolution of their approaches Principal matic activities to local tee. to youth violence prevention Investigator, communities, profes- through interaction with the The research core of the Meharry sional audiences, and NUPACE; and 2) a Geographic Center includes a project that Medical policymakers. Information System (GIS) and evaluates violence prevention College The structure and programs (bullying interven- neighborhood asset mapping of processes of the NU- tion) in middle schools with a protective factors and youth PACE are organized by focus on school climate as an violence with youth participa- its four core compo- extension of previous quasi- tion. nents: Administration, experimental evaluations. Sev- The Nashville Community Research, Surveillance, eral other research projects (Continued on page 5) and Communication involve: 1) a study of changes THE NATIONAL ACE NEWS VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 PAGE 5 Sharing Success Stories: Columbia ACE By Jane Onoye & Leslie Davidson Success stories are an important The Challenge: City. They also wanted to provide part to sustaining programs and ef- How do you increase awareness prevention resources that were forts that make an impact on the about an issue that most New York best suited to the needs of teens at problem of youth violence. To highlight City teens believe will never impact risk for dating violence and for these successes, the National Aca- their lives? Dating violence in a those currently experiencing dating demic Centers of Excellence on Youth health problem that disproportion- violence. Violence Prevention (ACEs) have begun ately affects young people, and it is The Partners and Peers Study to capture some of the individual sto- a huge challenge for those responsi- was conducted in response to this ries that describe how ACEs have been ble for the well-being of youth, need. The CCYVP and The New able to make a difference in their including parents, educators, and York Alliance Against Sexual As- respective communities.. The following health professionals. The negative sault (The Alliance) combined their is a success story from the Columbia health consequences associated expertise to carry out this study. University ACE. with dating violence, including suici- Such partnerships were critical in dal thoughts and sexually transmit- both advocating for the importance ted diseases, are severe. Relatively of the research and in ensuring Leslie Davidson, MD little is known about the problem support to carry out the study. The Columbia University of teen dating violence in New Partners and Peers Study measured York City, including the prevalence, how much dating violence occurred risk factors, and likelihood of teens among NYC youth, as well as the Shining a light on to seek help. Health officials have nature of the violence. The study suspected that for the few teens also assessed the health conse- teen dating violence who do seek help, many more stay quences of victimization and docu- quiet. mented the help-seeing behavior of in NYC teens who experienced violent The Solution: relationships. The Columbia University Center for Youth Violence Prevention Results: (CCYVP) wanted to raise aware- Results of the study underscored ness about the issue of teen dating the high levels of dating violence for violence throughout New York (Continued on page 7) Nashville UPACE continued from page 4 To report errors/ Coalition for Youth Safety munity member, and also chair of as volunteer opportunities were omissions/corrections or (NCCYS) consists of community the coalition, is an integral member also made available for attendees. to submit an article for The National ACE News members that contribute their of the NUPACE team. The NUPACE is committed to a please contact: expertise and experience in order Recently, in November, a march community-based participatory to ensure that research questions for awareness of youth violence approach, such that existing part- Editor related to reducing youth violence was organized by Youth United, the nerships among organizations and Jane Onoye, Ph.D. are thoroughly studied. email@example.com youth coalition of the NCCYS. The with the Center are collectively The community coalition shares program included community lead- reflected in their overlapping goals in the responsibility of decision ers, including Reverend Williams, and activities. making for all research, surveillance, and many youth who spoke on For more information on the programmatic, and strategic plan- promoting alternatives to youth NUPACE, please visit the website ning activities for the NUPACE. violence. Information on commu- at nupace.mmc.edu. For links to the Reverend Neely Williams, a com- nity resources and programs as well other ACEs, visit www.nacecc.org. PAGE 6 ACEs at Annual APHA Meeting in Philadelphia By Jane Chung-Do The annual nies, and educational programs, Columbia Center for Youth American Public it was a grand conference. Violence Prevention, Johns Health Association Among the highlights, were Hopkins University Center for (APHA) conference the range of panels and presen- the Prevention of Violence, was held on No- tations that discussed ap- and the Asian/Pacific Islander vember 7-11, 2009 proaches in youth violence Youth Violence Prevention in Philadelphia, prevention, including commu- Center. Pennsylvania. As a nity level interventions to pre- There was also an opportu- (L to R) Rose Cheney graduate student of vent and control street vio- nity for some informal net- Public Health, this was a first lence, community-based par- working at the ACE dinner (PCVPC), Pat Matthews time experience for me. ticipatory research, ethnic organized by the PCVPC. Eve- & Paul Juarez (Nashville), With numerous presenta- identity development, and risk ryone in attendance had a Bernadette Hohl tions and events held at the great time catching up with and protective factors. (PCVPC), & Jane Chung- Pennsylvania Convention Cen- Presenters included indi- friends and colleagues. Do (Hawai‘i) ter and nearby hotels, and viduals from the Philadelphia With all that it had to offer, over 700 booths from public Collaborative Violence Preven- it was indeed a memorable health organizations, compa- tion Center (PCVPC), Nash- training experience to present ville Urban Partnership ACE, at APHA! “I thought the youth summit went very well. I loved it! Voices from the Community: Youth Summit Part II Especially the workshops. I feel By Rachel Fazzino, Tebzy Lara, & Maria San like next year there should be The previous issue of The National committed to primary prevention our pain and anger into power and more people and it should be ACE News highlighted the Youth through education and expres- action. longer than just a weekend, Summit which took place July, sion. So, living and working in Boston Because of the community partner- maybe a week. I would want it to 2009, in Waimanalo, Hawai‘i with violence and its aftermath are always ship of the Harvard Youth Violence youth and adults from Kailua- present. My life is beautiful and not Prevention Center, the Louis D. Brown continue because it did make a Waimanalo, Boston, Oakland, and without struggle. The summit was Peach Institute and youth from the difference. It opened my eyes and New Zealand who came together healing for me in so many ways. . . Hispanic Office of Planning and let me know that a lot of people to discuss how to deal with issues Through the activities, workshops, Evaluation (HOPE) were able to ex- go through the same struggles no of community violence. In Part II, and even free time I was given the perience the summit and bring it back matter where they live.” the following express the voices of space to reflect, teach, learn, and to our people in Boston. Change is Tebzy Lara the visiting youth and adults from experience my life and work from a happening and we are uniting in cour- the Harvard and UC Berkeley new prospective and do the same with age to move forward to make the ACEs. my new friends from Hawai‘i, New future better than our present. The Zealand, and Oakland. We all came Hawai‘i Youth Summit of 2009 has By Rachel Fazzino to this summit from very different been a catalyst for this. The space (L - R) Vincent Huergas, The Hawai‘i Youth Summit 2009 - places with different experiences and that was created by the summit is Maria San, & Peter Kim End the silence against violence. Wow yet the stories we shared we all re- something that needs to be recreated (University of California at what a trip. Myself and another young lated to, the work we created together again and again so that future genera- Berkeley ACE) and Tebzy Lara & Rachel Fazzino woman set off from Boston on an was powerful, the tools we taught and tions of young people, elders, older (Harvard University ACE) amazing journey to Oahu to join in learned across cultures are useful young people like myself, researchers, at the this summit. beyond measure. and experienced professionals can summit of In Boston, I work at an The Youth Summit was well organ- come together across cultures to heal, Diamond organization founded and ized and planned. The balance be- learn, and be nourished so that we Head, operated by families of tween fun activities, storytelling, action can continue on this journey towards Hawai‘i. murder victims which has oriented workshops, dinner together, peace together. From the bottom of committed itself to not only and playing in the waves at the beach my heart, mahalo for this opportunity. providing services to survi- made the perfect recipe for partici- See you next year with more of us vors of homicide but is also pants to learn, inspire, and transform from Boston!!! THE NATIONAL ACE NEWS VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 PAGE 7 Success Stories continued from page 5 adolescents; among stu- lighted the critical need and their peers. The Alli- Significant media attention dents with a dating his- for primary prevention of ance and CCYVP devel- has also succeeded in shin- tory, more than half teen dating violence in oped youth-friendly, cul- ing the spotlight on the (56%) reported experi- NYC. turally and language ap- issue of teen dating vio- encing physical dating In direct response to propriate referral infor- lence and the need for violence. The study also the data from this study, mation. This includes a prevention. revealed numerous se- NYC public schools have public transit map with vere adverse health prob- initiated primary preven- dating violence preven- lems associated with tion tips, hotlines to call, Coming soon in 2010 is tion programs with par- an online tool to easily create dating violence such as ents, students, teachers, free counseling locations, poor physical health and and directions to local your own community success and health staff. One way stories. Please check back on depressive symptoms. the Alliance and CCYVP health services. These Nearly 60% of teens told maps have been given to the Coordinating Center are reaching youth is by website at www.nacecc.org no one about the vio- focusing on education to schools participating in lence and sought no ser- the study, with plans for for links to these and other prevent sexual and dating new resources! vices. These results high- violence among youth city-wide distribution. IN FOCUS Youth United, the youth coalition of the Nashville Community Coalition for Youth Safety, a partner of the Nashville UPACE, organized a community march in November 2009 to bring awareness and promote alternatives to the increased youth violence in their community. Youth and adults in Nashville march against youth violence in their community. 1441 Kapi`olani Boulevard, Suite 1801 Honolulu, Hawai`i 96814 Phone: 808.945.1516 Fax: 808.945.1522 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org but instead of smiling, their faces are howling "When I'm a be "Struggle" A poem by Maria San (from the 2009 Hawai‘i Youth Summit) dead?" So after all the years of struggling and trying to survive, about time I come from a Cambodian family that had war in their country, my family gonna b free, and their country got took over by the communist soldiers, to America. Yes, America. a.k.a the Khmer Rouge. But when they got to America they was put in Eastside Oakland - My grandpa was a brave soldier, Land of the highrollers/sideshowers/hustlahs/bigtime drug dealers. but got shot in the war in front of uncle and daddy Here in America this is another struggle... and the people that did survive in my family had to leave their country Imagine wakin up to what I sleep to - da pistols blastin Their eye sites are in fright, they're walkin day and night, If the witness is dead theres no trail. from Cambodia to Thailand. If you didn’t know den well you know now Old folks left behind, babies dying, people starving, tears fal- "Feed the system with positive" but I didn’t know how ling, while the rain is dripping Money, money, money, makes the world go round and their hearts are beating fast cuz they don’t know how long Play with the money, money, money, you will get gunned down they're gonna last. Teens having babies, but still out running wild Walking days, maybe weeks, so some made it but most didn’t, I sold dope, I sold weed, when I was just a child Not making it big but making it through heavy mud, dirty rivers, The streets took me in so I fit in with the crowd mines on the ground. The blue rags run through my veins but I don’t bang And the cold nites feeling like the sun is never gonna shine but the My hood to yo hood, is bout the same sun is really shining. To survive in this life, you gotta play the game They ducking and dodging, creeping and hiding, To change someone, else you gotta change So they won't get spotted by the communist soldiers, just to make Single mamas on welfare and daddies ain't around it across that border, Crack babys, crack fiends, that’s how it be in the Town from Cambodia to Thailand. Crooked ass cops in Oakland be driving around But when they got to Thailand they was put in refugee camps, Pull you over for no reason and slam you to the ground got checked butt naked to see if they was infected but can they Like I said, this how it be in the town take it? But now, positive people came into my life Hell yeah! Cuz they some strong ass immigrants. They see it in my eyes that im hiding my pain inside They're working in canals, choppin wood, sewing clothes just to be I wanna ease my mind like footsteps on a seashore fed, But those positive people made me see more.